Thandie Newton says she has a ‘black book’ of her bad experiences in Hollywood

Thandie Newton in the press room at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kens
Thandie Newton in the press room at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London.

Thandie Newton has said she has a “little black book” of her bad experiences in Hollywood, including from the Oscar-winning film Crash.

The Westworld actress spoke frankly about experiences of harassment and abuse she has had across her years in the industry.

She told Vulture: “When I look at my career and see how affected it was by my speaking out about sexual abuse in the industry, it was massively affected in two ways.

“One, because I was dealing with my trauma, and talk about being in a triggering environment, right? Also, I’d come across people that were doing the same shit, and so I would challenge them, or want to get out of it, or not want to work with people.”

Newton said she dropped out of Charlie’s Angels, which she was due to star in with Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, because of the way she felt she would be objectified. She was ultimately replaced by Lucy Liu.

She added: “I just couldn’t do it. I felt scared. Did I feel scared? That’s not true. Look, no one was ever going to sexually abuse me again. But I didn’t want to be put in a position where I was objectified. That just didn’t feel good.

Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle – Cast
Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore eventually starred in Charlie’s Angels (Jeff Rayner/PA)

“This is a long time ago anyway, and all those girls are brilliant. But if that was me now, I’d want to disrupt rather than run away. I think that’s probably the change in me.

“That’s not the only thing that happened. There’s the disgusting thing that happened with the casting couch. I’ve got my little black book, which will be published on my deathbed.”

Asked if it was a book of names, she said: “Oh, of everything. Got to leave something behind, love.

“I’m not doing it when I’m alive. I don’t want to deal with all the fallout and everyone getting their side of the story. There is no side of the story when you’re sexually abused. You give that up.”

Asked later about the film Crash, directed by Paul Haggis and starring Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon, she said: “Crash. That’s got a chapter in my black book, I’m afraid, babe.”

Newton also spoke about her experience working on Mission: Impossible 2 opposite Tom Cruise.

M:I-2 premiere Cruise Newton
Tom Cruise and Thandie Newton at the Mission: Impossible 2 premiere (Michael Crabtree/PA)

She said: “I was so scared of Tom. He was a very dominant individual. He tries superhard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done.”

Newton said that during filming one scene he suggested they rehearse by switching lines, and she added: “So we filmed the entire scene with me being him — because, believe me, I knew the lines by then — and him playing me. And it was the most unhelpful… I can’t think of anything less revealing.

“It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame. And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest.

“He wasn’t horrible. It was just — he was really stressed.”


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