In the 1990s, Linda Fiorentino was on top of the world. She had starred in several major Hollywood films like Men in Black, The Last Seduction, and Dogma. With her sultry looks, raspy voice, and undeniable acting talent, Fiorentino was poised to become the next big leading lady. But then, she seemed to disappear from the public eye just as quickly as she had burst onto the scene.
Almost twenty years after her last major role, what is Fiorentino up to now? Why did Hollywood turn its back on her or did she turn her back on Hollywood?
Linda Fiorentino, born in Philadelphia on March 9th, 1958, graduated from Washington Township High and earned a BA in political science from Rosemont College before training at the Circle in the Square Theater School in Manhattan. She worked as a bartender to support her acting studies, a job she shared with Bruce Willis.
Linda Fiorentino’s acting career began with her role in the 1985 drama “Vision Quest,” where she played a drifter named Carla, earning critical acclaim. Despite a brief hiatus from acting due to a sexist comment from a Warner Bros. executive, she returned the same year to alleviate credit card debt, appearing in “Gotcha!” and “After Hours,” and in a television episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Her career peaked with the 1994 neo-noir “The Last Seduction,” where she played femme fatale Bridget, winning the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and other accolades.
Fiorentino’s success continued with a major role in the 1997 blockbuster “Men in Black,” alongside Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. However, rumors of her being difficult to work with surfaced, allegedly influencing her exclusion from the sequel. Her career faced further challenges after director Kevin Smith described her as tough to work with during the making of the 1999 film “Dogma.” Despite these setbacks, a 2018 interaction showed a softer side of Fiorentino, with Smith expressing regret over his past comments. This tumultuous journey highlights both her talent and the challenges she faced in Hollywood.
Why did Linda Fiorentino stop acting?
While there were rumors about her being difficult to work with, which might have had some validity, the abrupt cessation of her career suggests other underlying factors.
The Harvey Weinstein Connection
A significant aspect to consider in Fiorentino’s career trajectory is the potential involvement of Harvey Weinstein, the former Miramax head. Weinstein, who was convicted of criminal sexual acts and rape in early 2020, was notorious for his coercive practices in Hollywood, often pressuring actresses into sexual favors for roles. This predatory behavior, which became a focal point of the MeToo movement, raises questions about Fiorentino’s interactions with him, especially considering her assertive nature and the timeline of her career struggles.
Potential Blacklisting: Fiorentino’s career challenges coincided with the production of “Dogma,” a film distributed by Miramax. It’s speculated that Fiorentino, known for her assertiveness, might have rebuffed Weinstein’s advances. Such a rejection could have led to Weinstein using his influence to sideline her career, a tactic he was infamous for.
Rumors and Smear Campaign: The industry rumors about Fiorentino being difficult to work with might have been part of a manufactured smear campaign. Some insiders suggest that Fiorentino could have been a victim of what’s colloquially known as being “Weinsteined” – a reference to Weinstein’s practice of tarnishing the reputations of those who opposed him or rejected his advances.
Impact on Career Choices: The potential blackballing by Weinstein could explain the sudden drop in high-profile roles for Fiorentino and her eventual disappearance from mainstream cinema. This theory is supported by the pattern observed in the careers of other actresses who reportedly faced similar situations with Weinstein.
What is Linda Fiorentino doing now?
As of now, Linda Fiorentino leads a notably private life, far removed from the public eye and the entertainment industry. Her last acting role was in the 2009 straight-to-video release ‘Once More with Feeling’, and she made her last public appearance in October 2010 at The National Italian American Foundation’s 35th Anniversary Awards Gala. Since then, Fiorentino has stayed out of the limelight, with no interviews, news updates, or social media presence to shed light on her current activities.
The only known recent contact with her was in 2018 when she reached out to director Kevin Smith via email concerning his heart attack, an interaction that led Smith to express regret over past comments about her.