It’s not that she hasn’t had a nice career, she has. It just seems like perhaps she could have gotten more opportunities to shine. London-born Claire Forlani has shared the screen with some of the big names in Hollywood. She has received multiple rave reviews for her past work but yet her Hollywood imprint feels like it deserves to be much larger.
Here’s how Claire Forlani ended up where she is now.
EARLY CLAIRE FORLANI
Claire Forlani’s early appearances were largely forgettable. She began with the British TV series Press Gang, then grabbed a role in the feature Gypsy Eyes.
Even though Forlani found work early on, she was looking for more opportunities. It was this reason that her parents moved with Claire Forlani to San Francisco. They wanted to help her by getting her more access to Hollywood.
It worked because Claire then got herself a role in the TV mini-series J.F.K: Reckless Youth. The mini-series starred Patrick Dempsey as the young John F. Kennedy and Forlani was cast as Ann Cannon, one of Kennedy’s many girlfriends. Claire Forlani then went from this drama piece to attempted comedy Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow, one of the more horrendous entries in the Police Academy franchise.
Claire Forlani finally began to open eyes when she grabbed a co-lead in the Kevin Smith movie Mallrats. This propelled her into the high profile films The Rock with Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, and Ed Harris and Basquiat, a movie that told the tragic story of street artist Jean Michel Basquiat, who at first enjoyed his meteoric rise as an artist discovered by Andy Warhol but then who succumbed to the drug habit he could never kick.
Claire Forlani was beginning to find her footing in Hollywood. She co-starred with Keanu Reeves, Thomas Jane, and Adrian Brody next in The Last Time I Committed Suicide and then Basil with Christian Slater and Jared Leto. She was definitely not starving for impressive co-stars. If that wasn’t enough for Forlani, up next was Brad Pitt.
MAKING LOVE TO BRAD PITT
The movie was Meet Joe Black and not only did Claire Forlani get to spend vast amounts of time with Brad Pitt, she also got to work with the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Tambor, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jake Weber.
She told the Daily Telegraph about some of her most memorable times on the Meet Joe Black set, “Well, there were these dinner scenes that we had around a big table with the whole cast: Marcia Gay Harden, and Tony [Anthony Hopkins] and Jake Weber and Brad, Jeffrey Tambor… They went on for days. They were such a brilliant group of people who were so funny, so good to watch, all so talented.”
But it was Claire Forlani’s extensive up close and personal time with Pitt that held the most memories for her. Especially the love scenes. “Brad and I literally getting through every brand of mint, having to do that love scene that just went on for days and days and days [laughs]. There wasn’t a brand we didn’t try. Oh, I remember that. I remember not being able to look at mints for about a year after doing that scene.”
So memorable and personal was filming the movie with Pitt that the two ended up dating. Claire Forlani and Brad Pitt appeared as a couple at the 1998 50th Annual Writer’s Guild of America Awards.
It’s hard to say if Meet Joe Black could be considered the height of her career. The movie did not go over well with fans or critics but Claire Forlani continued to work. She was in Mystery Men, Boys and Girls, Antitrust, Triggermen, and Northfork. She focused her career on feature films and wasn’t having a hard time finding constant work.
The opening decade of the 2000s was a kind to Claire Forlani. She was seen in The Medallion with Jackie Chan, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Green Street Hooligans, Ripley Under Ground, and Beer for Horses, to name a few. But the 2000s were also notable for another reason.
SURVIVING HARVEY WEINSTEIN
In 2000, Claire Forlani starred in the Miramax movie Boys and Girls. If the Miramax name sounds familiar, it should. It was the company that Harvey Weinstein ran with his brother Bob.
Claire Forlani shared her experience, where she described it as being able to duck and dive and eventually escape Harvey’s clutches. She talked about in a tweet, via The Hollywood Reporter, explaining how Ronan Farrow even approached her as he was writing up the Weinstein exposé and ultimately turning him down and the pain, regret, and guilt she felt after doing so.
“[Farrow] didn’t mention that it was about Harvey but when I received the email I instinctively knew it was going to be. I told some close men around me and they all advised me not to speak. I had already told Ronan I would speak with him but from the advice around me, interestingly the male advice around me, I didn’t make the call,” Claire Forlani said. “Today I sit here feeling some shame, like I’m not a woman supporting other women. I just read Mira Sorvino’s article in Time and she writes of how scared she was to speak out and participate. I take little solace in that.”
Claire Forlani then described her encounters with Weinstein. “You see, nothing happened to me with Harvey — by that I mean, I escaped 5 times,” she recalled. “I had two Peninsula Hotel meetings in the evening with Harvey and all I remember was I ducked, dived and ultimately got out of there without getting slobbered over, well just a bit. Yes, massage was suggested. The three dinners with Harvey I don’t really remember the time period, I was 25. I remember him telling me all the actresses who had slept with him and what he had done for them. I wasn’t drinking the cool aid [sic], I knew Harvey was a master manipulator. He also announced to me at the last dinner I had with him at Dominic’s that his pilot knew to be on standby because he could never get me to sleep with him, to which I did what I always did, make light of the situation, a joke here or there and moved on.”
“You see, I always thought I was a pro at handling these guys, I’d had a fair amount of experience. Sometimes I got angry, really angry. I wondered why I had Prey stamped on my forehead but this I kept to myself.” The pain for Claire Forlani was real as was her feelings toward the women who eventually put themselves on the line against Weinstein.
“I remember when Thandie Newton spoke out about a director that I had also had a disgusting experience with and I felt scared even reading what she said publicly about him, thinking, ‘Damn, she’s gonna get crucified for that,’” Claire Forlani said. “Yet I was in awe for her bravery and balls, she was a female crusader, modern suffragette and I loved her for it. But I also knew I didn’t have those balls, too scared of the repercussions This was because when you did react or tell a man to shove it, there were always repercussions. I was punished when I was brave. So I learned to let it go and carry on.” Her entire tweet can be read below.
CLAIRE FORLANI NOW
Now 48-years-old, Claire has been married to Scottish actor Dougray Scott since 2007. Together they’re raising their adopted son Milo Thomas Scott, born in 2014.
Claire Forlani began to transition to TV as the 2010s began. She was actually on CSI: NY beginning in 2006 but that went through 2010. She was then in the series Camelot and NCIS: Los Angeles. She found time on Hawaii Five-O and Departure. Now more of a TV star than a movie star, Claire Forlani’s her next project is the upcoming series Domina.
While Forlani has spent much of the past decade working in TV, she continues to work in features occasionally. She just finished filming a new version of Black Beauty, which is due to be released at some point in the near future.