A decade before Louise Linton became infamous for bragging about her and husband Steven Mnuchin’s vast wealth, she secured a film role because her then-husband gave about $200,000 to the production, the film’s director exclusively told TheWrap.
Independent filmmaker Yam Laranas said he agreed to give Linton the part of “Katie” for the good of his 2008 film, “The Echo.” Linton, who married Mnuchin this summer after he became Treasury Secretary, was “not a bad actress,” Laranas said.
But she also wasn’t his first choice.
“She wasn’t in the running at all. All I know is that one of the producers said I have a friend whose wife is an actress and you should check her out,” Laranas said. “At that point I wanted to shoot in New York. One of the producers said, ‘This guy is bringing in some money to make sure his wife gets the role.'”
Linton’s publicist, Jill Fritzo, told TheWrap the account is “not true.” Linton’s husband at the time was Beverly Hills attorney Ron Richards, who did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
But Laranas said the roughly $200,000 contribution was very good for “The Echo.” The money enabled Laranas to shoot New York exteriors, while the movie was mostly shot in Toronto, he said.
It isn’t unheard of for high-rollers to pay for film roles — the Daily Beast recently reported that Anthony Scaramucci, who served briefly as President Trump’s communications director, paid $100,000 for a part in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” — the sequel to Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street.”
By marrying Mnuchin in June, Linton landed one of the most successful producers in Hollywood — a man whose name still appears in the credits of hits like “Wonder Woman” even though he has moved on to the Trump Administration. Mnuchin also executive produced films including “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Suicide Squad.”
Linton became an internet fascination on Monday after she criticized a woman who called her out for her opulent lifestyle with Mnuchin, a billionaire Hollywood producer-turned-Treasury Secretary. Linton soon apologized, saying her comments were “inappropriate and highly insensitive.”
“My first impression you get from her is that she’s really flashy. What you see on Instagram, that’s how she is,” Laranas said. “She was a nice person and had a husband, a lawyer at the time, who had money.”
As an added bonus, Laranas added, she paid for her own hotel during shoot days.
“The Echo” was one of many early appearances for the Scottish-born actress. TheWrap reported exclusively Tuesday that in 2003 she also appeared in a short-lived VH1 reality series, “Hopelessly Rich,” in which she playfully told a suitor she would need a massive six-karat diamond engagement ring, and chartered a yacht to announce a breakup.
According to an interview Linton gave to Herald Magazine in 2011, her family owns a 18th-century Melville Castle, in Scotland, which it runs as a luxury hotel.
Linton suffered Marie Antoinette and “let them eat cake” jokes after she tore into an Instagram follower who criticized her for flaunting her wealth.
“Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!” she wrote. “Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?”
“You’re adorably out of touch,” she later added, telling the woman, “your life looks cute” and recommending she “Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”
Ironically, one of her acting credits was for playing a woman dressed as Marie Antoinette in a 2007 episode of “CSI: NY.”