British actress Sophie Okonedo has an amazing resume despite not landing the lead role in the 1998 cult classic B. Monkey at the start of her career. Former President Barack Obama praised Okonedo for her Broadway performance in the revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” The Guardian reported, noting that she won a Tony award for the play and an Oscar nomination for “Hotel Rwanda.”
It turns out that losing the role in B. Monkey was a blessing in disguise. Filmmaker Michael Caton-Jones said disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein told him to drop Okonedo from the movie because she wasn’t “fu**able,” BuzzFeed News reports.
The director told BuzzFeed that he chose Okonedo from about 100 unknown actresses who auditioned for the lead role in the thriller. However, Okonedo and Caton-Jones had to obtain Weinstein’s approval.
Weinstein wanted Asia Argento for the role. The New Yorker reported that she’s now one of several women accusing the former producer of sexual abuse.
The Italian actress and director told The New Yorker that Weinstein forcible performed oral sex on her. Argento revealed the abuse after revelations of his alleged sexual harassment became public because she feared Weinstein would ruin her career.
“I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento told the magazine. “That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older—has never come out.”