I mentioned earlier that I was going to use Bob and Harvey Weinstein as characters in James and Kathryn. This was inspired mostly by the way Harvey was filmed at the Academy Awards last year. Every time a film of his won or was mentioned, the Oscar crew would have a shot of him from below, hiding none of his carriage, as he chuckled with gluttonous glee. Watching the Oscars, I waited for Harvey’s onscreen appearance so I could chime in (using my best Jabba the Hutt impersonation), “Ho ho ho! Feed me Oscars!”
This image made me imagine a man who would do anything for an Oscar. In my play I was going to use Mr. Weinstein and his brother to seduce James into starting a nuclear World War IV. War is hell, but they’ll get some great prestige pictures out of it.
But then I read a review in the New York Times of Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures, which reveals Mr. Weinstein to be a physically violent cutthroat. Previously I thought Mr. Weinstein was a cuddly Jabba the Hutt, coveting men in gold plating rather than women in gold bikinis. But it turns out that he is as ruthless as the Star Wars character is purported to be.
This ruins the incongruity of the situation I was trying to create. The Bob and Harvey I wanted to use are just making movies; they can’t start wars. But the real Harvey apparently uses such flowery Kruschevean prose as, “Our missiles are aimed at you! The rockets will be launched!” Putting this man into the world of James and Kathryn just wouldn’t have any irony. Maybe it’s better to choose different producers to lampoon, or to create fictional characters who won’t be so overtly hotheaded.
Then I wouldn’t have to worry about Harvey beating me up.