“You stand up to a bully. And sometimes you win,” Hawn said of Weinstein later paying her for the shelved project.
Harvey Weinstein wanted all that jazz for himself when he turned the musical “Chicago” into an Oscar-winning movie.
Goldie Hawn revealed one Species cover story that almost 15 years before Miramax’s “Chicago” won Best Picture in 2003, another adaptation starring himself and Madonna was in the works. Hawn also produced it. The original screenplay was written by Larry Gelbart and produced by Broadway veteran Marty Richards.
Weinstein announced In 1997: “It goes without saying that Roxie and Velma are two of the greatest roles ever written for musical actresses, and with Goldie, Madonna and the great Marty Richards on board, it promises to be one hell of a ride.”
According to Hawn, Weinstein later canceled the project and decided to go younger with the two female leads.
“Harvey basically undermined me and Madonna,” Hawn said, noting that producer Weinstein reportedly commissioned a new script in which Hawn’s character was 23 years old. Hawn was in her 50s at the time.
“I said, ‘Don’t mess with me. Because I know what you’re doing. We agreed,’” Hawn recalled.
Weinstein eventually paid Hawn for her work on the project. “You’re standing up to a bully.” And sometimes you win,” he said. “Afterwards, I said to him, ‘You know the best part about paying me? Not the money. You restored my faith in dignity and ethics. I hardly knew…”
Weinstein was later revealed during the #MeToo movement to have sexually assaulted and raped numerous women throughout his career.
The former Miramax executive is currently in prison, serving a decades-long sentence. Weinstein told Variety from prison, “Acting roles were always chosen based on what was best for the project artistically and financially. We felt like we did our best in ‘Chicago,’ and I’m proud of that and I’m so happy that Goldie’s experience was positive and that she has the courage to say that in this environment. I just want to say thank you.
As for Madonna’s reaction to the botched ‘Chicago’ iteration, Hawn said, “I really don’t know what she thought about it. You know, it just went with the flow.
“Chicago” eventually starred Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones and won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 2003.
Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.