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Here's The Wild Story Of How James Cameron Nearly Smashed Harvey Weinstein With One Of His 'Titanic' Oscar Statuettes

This THR report is worth reading all the way through. James Cameron never does something without full commitment, and I'm retroactively impressed by his restraint here when it comes to Harvey Weinstein. Surely there was some working knowledge around the industry even back in 1998 that Weinstein was a full-blown creep.

Among Hollywood celebrities, Cameron is among the most fascinating quotes simply because he's a legend and he knows it. Dude has zero filter and less than zero fucks to give.

Which leads us to this tale of a near-altercation with Weinstein:

"I didn't know Harvey from Adam. I didn’t know anything about him other than what I had learned from Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo and I had been close friends since 1991. He had told me the horrible shit that Miramax pulled on him when he made his first American commercial film, Mimic, and they fired him. The actors, led by Mira Sorvino, kind of revolted and wouldn’t work until they brought him back. Then, when the film was successful and well regarded, Harvey sort of jumped up to take praise for the movie. And so I’m on my way back to my seat with my editing Oscar, and this guy’s jumping up to introduce himself, saying, 'If you want to come to work at a place that’s a friend of the artist, a friend of the filmmaker' — he’s holding his hand out, and I just blew him off. It was just an ugly little moment. 

"But, yeah, I did defend Guillermo and I called Harvey on his bullshit, and then he got very loud and verbally abusive and almost potentially physically violent. And he was about to get clocked by an Oscar — which would’ve been highly appropriate, I think. But I wasn’t thinking about it in those terms; it was just the weapon at hand. The hysterical thing about the whole moment was people around us were saying, “Not here! Not here!” It was kind of like, 'It’s OK if you boys fight out in the alley, but don’t do it here at the Academy Awards!'"

A couple things immediately spring to mind based on Cameron's remarks. First off, to keep it tastefully cinematic, is this classic scene from Dr. Strangelove:

Giphy Images.

Secondly — we are Barstool Sports after all — you know where I'm going, right?

I'm not shoehorning this in whatsoever. Check out this explanation from Cornell Law on assault vs. battery:

"Assault refers to the wrong act of causing someone to reasonably fear imminent harm. This means that the fear must be something a reasonable person would foresee as threatening to them. Battery refers to the actual wrong act of physically harming someone."

We were thisclose to James Cameron going full steam ahead (SHIP PUN) into the battery category a la Professor Plum with the candlestick on Mr. Boddy in Clue. Speaking of that flick, this had to be Cameron's rage-fueled inner monologue during that Weinstein encounter:

Giphy Images.

I'm sure even back then at this Oscars party, onlookers wouldn't have minded what the setting was for Harvey Weinstein to get gashed by an Oscar statue. That's like a classic plot point out of a self-aware Hollywood satire. Can you imagine if this actually happened?

The whole backstory and setup leading to when Cameron truly considered striking the disgraced producer. How about Weinstein patently failing to understand or even entertain the genius of Guillermo del Toro, only to do a 180 and try to clout chase for the success of Mimic. Example No. 32059829584 of why Weinstein is a scumbag.

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For all of Cameron's admitted temper issues, self-hype and lengthy waits between his projects releasing, you can't say he doesn't back it all up with groundbreaking, massive-scale entertainment. More critically for this situation, he's not a two-faced asshole who only defends fellow filmmaking auteurs when it's convenient. Cameron had del Toro's back to the point where he almost knocked Weinstein the fuck out. You gotta respect that.

Anyway, it's crazy and straight-up stupid that Cameron had to deal with this nonsense on a night where Titanic won 11 Oscars out of 14 nominations. The 70th Academy Awards were STACKED. Necessarily capitalized, trust me. Titanic was competing against the likes of Good Will Hunting, Boogie Nights, LA Confidential, AND As Good As It Gets. 

Are you freaking kidding me!? To go 11-for-14 against that lineup? GTFOH. Goes to show how much of a cultural and box office monolith Titanic was. LEOMANIA. Kate Winslet breaking out to set up one of the best and most diverse leading lady careers of the past quarter-century. What a cinematic achievement. Damn.

Circling back to the main subject of the could've-been Cameron-Weinstein fight. Can't leave here without plugging the most brutal movie kill among the films I've seen all the way through, courtesy of Apocalypto.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok

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