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Actor Frank Langella, 84, denies he was fired from Netflix role for ‘fondling’ younger actress


Veteran actor Frank Langella has claimed he’s a victim of ‘un-American’ cancel culture after he was fired from Netflix’s upcoming The Fall of the House of Usher series over claims he fondled a young co-star inappropriately during a love-scene.  

‘I have been canceled. Just like that,’ Langella, 84, wrote in an op-ed published to Deadline Thursday – the actor’s first public statement since the outlet reported he had been nixed from the series over ‘unacceptable conduct’ on its set on April 13.

‘Cancel culture is the antithesis of democracy,’ the Frost/Nixon star asserted in the scathing piece. ‘This is not fair. This is not just. This is not American.’

In the open letter, Langella recounted how he had been forced out of the lead role of Roderick Usher in the upcoming Edgar Allan Poe adaptation after performing the love scene with the female co-star who played his wife. She hasn’t been named. 

‘Both of us were fully clothed. I was sitting on a couch, she was standing in front of me. The director called cut. “He touched my leg,” said the actress. “That was not in the blocking,”‘ Langella wrote.

‘She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator. I attempted to follow, but was asked to “give her some space.” I waited for approximately one hour, and was then told she was not returning to set and we were wrapped,’ the Tony Award winner said.

Langella revealed that roughly a week later, he was contacted by Netflix HR personnel, who proceeded to interrogate – and reprimand – him about the March 25 incident, revealing that the female actress had filed a complaint to producers.  

He’s out: Frank Langella, 84, has been fired from the Netflix limited series The Fall Of The House Of Usher, Deadline reported Wednesday; seen in 2016 in NYC

‘”Before the love scene began on March 25,”’ the staffer said, according to Langella, ‘”our intimacy coordinator suggested where you both should put your hands”‘ – a suggestion the staffer noted Langella had disregarded as ‘absurd.’

‘”Yes,” I said,’ Langella recalled of his subsequent response to the staffer. ‘I did. And I still think so.’

‘It was a love scene on camera,’ Langella, who received an Oscar nod for his turn as Richard Nixon in 2008 and boasts acting credits spanning more than six decades, said in the Deadline piece, citing that such scenes demand a degree of improvisation. 

‘Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity.’

However, seemingly unconvinced by Langella’s perspective of the incident, the staffer went on to suggest Langella not speak to the female actress nor anyone else involved with the film, in an effort to not ‘risk retaliation.’

‘She suggested that I not contact the young lady, the intimacy coordinator, or anyone else in the company,’ Langella recalled of the phone call. ‘”We don’t want to risk retaliation,” she said.’ 

The actor added that when he mentioned it was not his intention to make his younger co-star feel uncomfortable, the HR staffer ‘cut me off politely and said: “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact.”‘

Langella has been replaced in his role by Bruce Greenwood, pictured

Langella has been replaced in his role by Bruce Greenwood, pictured 

Langella was subsequently fired from the forthcoming series later that month, following an investigative probe into the allegations by staffers.

Representatives for Langella haven’t yet responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.  

The investigation determined that Langella’s conduct on set was unacceptable, and the Edgar Allan Poe series will reportedly recast his role.

Sources said the eight-episode mini series was about halfway through production, but all scenes that Langella had filmed will be reshot with his eventual replacement. 

TMZ previously noted that the Oscar nominee didn’t have any films to shoot this week, though it’s unclear if the schedule was rearranged after the start of the investigation.

He had been starring as Roderick Usher, a man who fears his twin sister has been entombed alive after she succumbs to an illness.

Replaced: A sexual misconduct investigation determined that Langella's conduct on set was unacceptable, and the Edgar Allan Poe series will reportedly recast his role; seen in 2016 in NYC

Replaced: A sexual misconduct investigation determined that Langella’s conduct on set was unacceptable, and the Edgar Allan Poe series will reportedly recast his role; seen in 2016 in NYC

Moving on: The series will continue filming scenes that don't involve the character for the rest of the week, and he hadn't been on this week's schedule; seen in 2012 in Park City, Utah

Moving on: The series will continue filming scenes that don’t involve the character for the rest of the week, and he hadn’t been on this week’s schedule; seen in 2012 in Park City, Utah 

The series will continue filming scenes that don’t involve the character for the rest of the week. 

Other stars of the show included Mark Hamill, Carla Gugino, Mary McDonnell, Carl Lumbly.

The show was created and executive produced by horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan, who previously helmed the series The Haunting Of Hill House and Midnight Mass, among other projects.

Among the alleged incidents, a source told the TMZ, include a joke Langella told that had sexual overtones, and an instance in which he touched the leg of a female actress (during a scripted performance) and joked, ‘Did you like that?’

Police told the outlet that no reports have been filed in connection with the veteran actor. A Netflix rep told the outlet the company doesn’t comment on ‘active employment matters.’

Too close for comfort: A source told the TMZ that Langella told a joke with sexual overtones, and he allegedly touched the leg of a female actress — during a scripted performance — and joked, 'Did you like that?'; seen in April 2021 at the SAG Awards

Too close for comfort: A source told the TMZ that Langella told a joke with sexual overtones, and he allegedly touched the leg of a female actress — during a scripted performance — and joked, ‘Did you like that?’; seen in April 2021 at the SAG Awards

Acclaimed: Langella garnered an Oscar nomination in 2009 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as late President Richard Nixon in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon

Acclaimed: Langella garnered an Oscar nomination in 2009 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as late President Richard Nixon in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon 

Langella is an accomplished actor with a prolific resume, having worked steadily in movies and films since 1965.

He garnered an Oscar nomination in 2009 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as late President Richard Nixon in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon.

Among his notable films include the 1979 film Dracula, starring as Count Dracula; 1987’s Masters of the Universe, playing the role of the villain Skeletor; 2006’s Superman Returns, playing the role of Perry White; and 2012’s Robot & Frank, playing Frank.

Latter-day role: Langella portrayed the role of Judge Julius Hoffman in 2020's The Trial of the Chicago 7

Latter-day role: Langella portrayed the role of Judge Julius Hoffman in 2020’s The Trial of the Chicago 7

Langella appeared in 1987's Masters of the Universe, playing the role of the villain Skeletor

Langella appeared in 1987’s Masters of the Universe, playing the role of the villain Skeletor 

In recent years, he’s been featured in projects including The Trial of the Chicago 7, in which he played Judge Julius Hoffman; the TV show Kidding, in which he portrayed Seb; and the TV show The Americans, playing Gabriel.

The Hollywood veteran opened up about his love life in his 2012 memoir Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, according to the New York Post, as he was past linked to late actresses Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor.

He was romantically linked with Whoopi Goldberg for five years after they worked together on her 1994 movie Eddie, according to a 2000 report from Variety.



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