Minnie Driver was only 26 years old when she auditioned for the role of Skylar in Gus Van Sant’s “Good Will Hunting.” It’s a performance that would earn Driver an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress, but it’s one she recently told The Telegraph almost never happened because producer Harvey Weinstein believed “nobody would want to fuck her.” Driver said Weinstein sent a sexist note along to the film’s casting director.
“I remember feeling so devastated until I realized, ‘Hold on, just consider the source for a minute. That is an unutterable pig — why on earth are you worried about this fuck saying that you are not sexy?’” Driver said. “But there are ramifications of that: that maybe I am not going to be hired because people don’t think I have the sexual quality that is required.”
Driver added, “How awful to think that I was one of the lucky ones [who escaped him] because he didn’t think I was fuckable. And how amazing and wonderful that it has turned around and young men and women in my industry are not going to experience that.”
Weinstein claims he wanted to cast Ashley Judd in “Good Will Hunting,” hence overlooking Driver. A spokesperson for Weinstein added, “Harvey believes that Minnie Driver is an excellent actor, but it is true he had championed Judd for the role. He admits when he is wrong and Minnie was fantastic. He claimed to have never said anything regrettable about Ms. Driver and had hired her for several films. He wishes her luck and success on her memoir.”
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence due to first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. Judd is also suing Weinstein for blacklisting her after she rejected his sexual advances. Weinstein denies those allegations. It wasn’t only the disgraced film producer who took issue with Driver’s look during the “Good Will Hunting” casting search. The actor recently told The Cut that a producer on the film also didn’t think she was sexy enough for “Good Will Hunting,” which Driver found similarly “devastating.”
“To be told at 26 that you’re not sexy when you maybe just got over all your teenage angst, and started to think, you know, ‘Maybe in the right light and the right shoes and the right dress, I’m all right,'” Driver said. “When a producer — a man or woman or nonbinary person — distills an actor down to what they perceive as their sexiness, it’s so dismissive of that person.”
Driver has been making the press rounds in support of her new memoir “Managing Expectations,” which was published May 3.