‘Gwyneth Paltrow is an excellent actor and a fantastic person, who does so well when on the right project,’ Juda Engelmayer, a rep for the 66-year-old producer, said in a statement.
‘The only other contenders for the role of Will Shakespeare were Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke, no one else.’
Weinstein added that Affleck ‘did a terrific job as Ned Alleyn, which is the role he was considered for.’
Push back: Harvey Weinstein, 66, in a rare public statement Tuesday, denied claims Gwyneth Paltrow, 47, made in a Variety piece that he had wanted to cast Ben Affleck, 46, as Will Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, in the role that eventually went to Joseph Fiennes, 46
Paltrow, who played Viola De Lesseps in the 1998 motion picture, spoke with Variety to mark the twentieth anniversary of her Best Actress Oscar.
The 46-year-old actress, who has previously accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, told the publication that she dissuaded the producer from the casting shake-up.
Director John Madden and producer Donna Gigliotti said they remembered the suggestion.
‘At the last minute, Harvey wanted Ben Affleck to take over and play Shakespeare,’ Paltrow said. ‘I said, “No, you can’t do that. You have to have an English person.”‘
Casting controversy: Paltrow said that she had to talk Weinstein out of casting Affleck in the role Fiennes got
Throwback: Weinstein and Affleck were snapped in 1998, the year the film was released
Engelmayer complained that the media has a double standard when it comes to their depiction of Weinstein’s credibility, amid accusations of sexual misconduct by 87 women.
‘Just to ask – why wouldn’t you ask us anything here. When will the media go around about s*** about Harvey fade out and when will actual reporting and investigating become something revered again?’ Engelmayer said.
He added: ‘When Paltrow says, “A movie is not going to be successful if it’s not a good movie, not like that,” you take it as gospel, but when someone accuses Harvey of shenanigans the same sentiment is ignored in place of something more sinister, why is that?’
Excalibur moment: Paltrow won Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 1999 Oscars playing Viola De Lesseps in the 1998 motion picture
20 years ago: Paltrow and Weinstein were snapped at an Oscar bash in 1999 in LA
He continued: ‘Just as a good movie is a good movie, if someone is a good actor, you can’t keep her or him down. If someone is a box office draw, a good agency and good actor will get chosen for a role – blacklisting someone is just a bulls*** idea convenient to beat the drum against Weinstein with.’
Elsewhere in the chat, Paltrow characterized Weinstein as ‘a bully’ who she ‘had a lot of fights’ with over the years.
‘I never had a problem standing up to him. I wasn’t scared of him. I also felt for a period of time, I was the consumer face of Miramax, and I felt it was my duty to push back against him.’
She said that Weinstein’s tarnished image does not sully the legacy of the motion picture, calling it ‘a beautiful film.’
‘A movie is not going to be successful if it’s not a good movie, not like that,’ she said.
Weinstein has been accused of raping a woman in 2013, and forcing himself on a woman in 2006. The producer, who remains free on $1million bail, has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.
He’s due back in court for a pretrial hearing March 8, with his trial slated to commence June 3.