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This Star Called Anjelica Huston "Mean and Petty"

This feud started with a movie about senior cheerleaders.

You might not have expected a comedy about retiree cheerleaders to incite drama, but that's exactly what happened around the release of the 2019 movie Poms. The film stars Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, and Celia Weston as a group of women in a retirement community who put together a cheerleading squad. The movie is meant to be heartwarming, but one fellow actor was not won over by the premise. In an interview with Vulture, which came out around the same time as Poms, Anjelica Huston criticized the film's plot, and in response was dissed by Weaver. Read on to learn why Huston has such strong feelings about movies like Poms and to see Weaver's harsh response.

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Huston not-so-vaguely commented on Poms.

Anjelica Huston at the UCLA Hollywood for Science Gala in 2019
DFree / Shutterstock

Poms was released in theaters on May 10, 2019. On May 1, Huston's interview with Vulture was published, in which she, now 70, talked about the sort of roles she likes to play at this point in her life. And while the actor didn't name the movie, she did describe its plot pretty specifically.

"I'm looking for movies that impress me in some way," the Grifters star said, "that aren't apologetically humble or humiliating like, 'Band of cheerleaders gets back together for one last hurrah,' you know. An old-lady cheerleader movie. I don't like that kind of thing. If I'm going to be an old lady—and I'm sort of touching old lady these days—at least I want to be a special old lady. I don't want to be relegated to some has-been making a comeback. I hate comebacks."

Weaver didn't mince words in her response.

Jacki Weaver at the "Perpetual Grace, LTD" premiere in 2019
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Not long after Huston's interview was published, Weaver spoke to Vanity Fair about her comments.

"I just laughed," Weaver said of hearing what Huston thought. "And then I said, 'Well, she can go [expletive] herself.' I was kind of disappointed. I had always been an admirer of Anjelica. And I thought, 'That's a bit mean and petty.'"

Weaver added, "I would say she must be going through menopause, but she must have had that ages ago."

Weaver also said that Huston "sounds sad."

Anjelica Huston at the LACMA ART+FILM Gala in 2021
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Weaver told Vanity Fair that she agreed with some of Huston's comments about "old lady" roles in entertainment and commented on the ageism that is present in the industry. But, she also said of Huston, "Anjelica sounds sad at the moment, I have to say. I think she must be a bit disappointed or she wouldn't be slagging on people for no reason … including herself, saying she's an 'old lady.'"

Weaver said she couldn't see Huston as a cheerleader, anyway. "But then, I grew up in Australia, where there is just no cheerleading culture," the Silver Linings Playbook actor said. "I think the most interesting acting happens outside your comfort zone."

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Weaver regretted her comments and walked them back.

Jacki Weaver at the G'Day USA Gala in 2020
DFREE / Shutterstock

In an interview with BuzzFeed's AM to DM in June 2019, Weaver expressed regret for what she said about Huston.

"I just said, 'Oh well, I was disappointed because I've always admired Anjelica,' and I just laughed, and then I thought, Well, she can go [expletive] herself. Which, well, to be honest, that's what I thought…and I'm sorry, I wished I never said that," Weaver said. "I do admire Anjelica Huston. I don't think she's a [expletive]. I think she's a wonderful actress and a really nice woman."

Weaver also said that she lost some inhibitions during the exchange with Vanity Fair. "Sometimes my filter drops, and my filter dropped that day. I just got a bit cross—'cross' being the operative word," she said. "I got incensed. I saw red. I lose my temper once a year, and that was it."

She also defended Poms again.

Pam Grier, Jacki Weaver, Diane Keaton, Rhea Perlman, and Celia Weston at the premiere of "Poms" in 2019
Eugene Powers / Shutterstock

While Weaver regretted speaking out so strongly about Huston, she also took time to defend Poms again in her AM to DM interview, saying that it's about more than "silly old women being cheerleaders." She continued, "It's about love and friendship, and death and relevance, and aging and ageism, and it's got a lot of heart."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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