Why Playing Zelda Perkins In She Said Hit So Close To Home For Samantha Morton

The real Zelda Perkins worked as Weinstein’s PA for many years, and she knew openly about his criminal activity. As is said multiple times throughout “She Said,” a lot of his activity was often maddeningly dismissed under a vague sort of “that’s just Harvey being Harvey” attitude. In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2022, Perkins spoke at length about Weinstein’s frequent sexual advances, acts of exhibitionism, and how he bullied her into an NDA when she tried to confront him about his assault of Rowena Chiu, a friend of hers. 

Morton admitted that she and Perkins differ considerably, but that it was important to do the woman justice. That was more important to Morton than any kind of importance the film itself may bear. In her words: 

“It wasn’t just about the overall project. I’d met Zelda in the past — we have close mutual friends and she’s someone I really, really admire. So for me, it was about Zelda […] It was not about what I wanted or needed from the movie, it was all about Zelda.”

Indeed, Morton didn’t want to play the scene until she knew for sure that Perkins was comfortable with the dialogue. There is always a danger of making a sensitive story like the one told in “She Said” into something salacious or overtly melodramatic. For Morton, however, a balance seems to have been struck. Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s script received Perkins’ approval, and Morton agreed to play the part. Morton said:

“Once I was offered the role it was a necessity for me to make sure that Zelda was happy with the script and how the producers were making it and with my dialogue […] I told her I’d only do it if she was happy.”

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