Rose McGowan on What Advice She Would Give Her Younger Self: 'Watch Out For the Predator' (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
There's plenty of things Rose McGowan wishes she could tell her younger self about entering the acting world.
When ET spoke with the 44-year-old actress over the phone last week to talk about her latest film, The Sound, she also opened up about her "backwards" journey in Hollywood -- and the stories she wishes she knew about the industry way back when.
"Watch out! Watch out for the predator,” McGowan says she would advise her younger self. “Watch out for those that would lie to you, watch out for those that would hurt you."
She continued on, telling ET that while she doesn't "feel any way about the profession" of acting, she does "feel a certain way about the system."
"The system is incredibly corrupt and wrong and debasing," exclaimed McGowan, who portrays ghost-busting blog writer Kelly Johansen in her new thriller. "If you think about it, only 23% of speaking roles are between women. Imagine how they're generally portrayed in horror films, unlike The Sound. That, to me, is egregious, and what that they're doing is giving women and men all over the world a mirror for themselves to look in and a way to consume the propaganda."
"The thing is, people freak out, understandably so, when there's whitewashing or when there's gender washing," she added. "And they should. I firmly believe in that. But there's no outcry [for] women's quote unquote movies, which are rare. They're primarily all run by men. Interpreted by men or written by men, played by men, edited by men, distributed by men, sold by men."
McGowan believes that there's a "huge problem" with that.
"It's systemic and there's no government oversight, obviously there's not going to be with this administration, but, you know... there's no such thing as a human resources department, and also, more importantly, what it's doing to people's minds out there in the world,” she said. "It's America's No. 1 export, film, and I think it's dangerous. There's no love lost with me in the system, basically, but.. I'm scared because I care."
When we asked McGowan if there's anything she'd do differently in this business, knowing what she knows now, she said, "Absolutely."
"I came into the business backwards. I didn't know anything about it, I didn't know any of the rumors about people, I didn't know any of the bad things and I didn't think everybody would lie," she revealed. "But, I have met some amazing people in this journey as well, and I'm grateful for that. It's just I -- I go between saying to my past self, 'Run!' and 'Fight harder.'"
The interview came just a week before numerous women accused high-powered studio mogul Harvey Weinstein -- whom she worked with on the 1996 Miramax film Scream -- of sexual harassment in a piece published by The New York Times. The article claims Weinstein has allegedly reached eight previously undisclosed settlements with women from 1990-2015, including McGowan in 1997 "after an episode in a hotel room."
Weinstein's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, denied the allegations, releasing the following statement to ET on Thursday:
"The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."
The NYT, however, is standing by the information in their story.
"We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting," a spokesperson from the outlet tells ET. "Mr. Weinstein was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication. In fact, we published his response in full."
McGowan declined to comment about the alleged $100,000 settlement when the NYT reached out to her, but after the article was published, she cryptically tweeted, "Women fight on. And to the men out there, stand up. We need you as allies. #bebrave."
"Anyone who does business with __ is complicit," she added. "And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves."
Women fight on. And to the men out there, stand up. We need you as allies. #bebrave
In addition to The Sound, which is out now, McGowan is also looking forward to the release of her new book, Brave, due in February from HarperCollins. The publishing company describes Brave as "a revealing memoir and empowering manifesto from one of the most provocative voices in Hollywood."
"I am very proud of it," McGowan gushed to ET. "I wrote it myself. It's 300 pages and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Going through, and again, resurrecting ghosts, which was very difficult."
"I have been working on the book in my head my whole life," she added. "I just kept adding chapters. Writing is one of the things I hate to do, but I'm very good at it."