Minnie Driver says she was punished on Hard Rain for wanting to wear a wetsuit under a wet t-shirt

Minnie Driver
Minnie Driver
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Minnie Driver shared a gross but all too commonplace tale of on-set sexism during a new episode of Jameela Jamil’sI Weighpodcast. Speaking about how hurtful the press could be in labeling her “strident” and “outspoken,” she recalled working on the film Hard Rain with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater and feeling “punished” for protesting an unfair double standard.

“It’s set during this massive storm, there were huge rain machines. We shot crazy hours. It was tough,” Driver said. “Everybody else could wear a wetsuit underneath their costume, and I was told by the producers that I couldn’t because they wanted to see my nipples, and that there was no point in having the wet t-shirt if you couldn’t have what was underneath it. And it was very plainly told, like, ‘you’re an idiot if you don’t understand that this is what’s going on.’”

The Good Will Hunting star remembered “saying this is wrong” and called her agent over the issue. Afterward, though, “people wouldn’t speak to me on the set. I was so punished for it. It was leaked to the press that I called and complained about conditions, but it was as if there was nothing to complain about and I was just complaining,” she reflected. “It’s this gaslighting. Media gaslighting that’s supported by the environment that you’re in. And then you have to stay in that environment, you know, we shot that movie for seven months. Eventually, you do turn on yourself, you do go, ‘It was my fault for saying anything you stupid big mouth. You should’ve shut up.’”

Variety reached out to several of the players involved in this tale, including costume designer Kathleen Detoro, who said that “full wetsuits and pieces” were available for all the actors and “no expense was spared to keep actors and crew as dry as possible in an action water film.” In an email, Detoro wrote, “Producers never gave me those instructions. Actors don’t like wearing wetsuits under their clothes. Very uncomfortable. Made-to-order wet suits from Body Glove were purchased for all actors and crew. Actors received full wet suit: shortie wet suit, tops, bottoms and booties. It is up to actor to decide what parts they wear or don’t wear.”

Driver and Detoro’s recollections do not necessarily negate each other; while Detoro may have had wetsuits available for everyone, a producer could very well have told Driver otherwise. And this is not the first time Driver has told this story. She previously shared the anecdote while promoting her memoir Managing Expectations in 2022. “That followed me for a really long time, that whole idea of me being difficult,” she told The Sydney Herald of speaking up on the Hard Rain set. “If you stood up and said, ‘This is unacceptable,’ which I routinely did, you were vilified.”

She has spoken, too, about her relationship with the tabloids: “I would be parsed by them … ‘she only eats a salad for lunch.’ Which, within it, somehow has the inference that somehow I am anorexic, and I have an eating disorder, because that’s a more interesting narrative,” she said in a 2022 interview with The Cut. “Parts of you would be taken and threaded into a narrative that would then become truth. And that stayed—before the advent of social media, where there was absolutely no recourse—the way the media presented you was the truth. And the disempowering feeling around that, particularly as a woman, was often egregious. And yet I was told, time and time again: ‘This is the deal that you made.’”