“Magic in the Moonlight” director talks about his life and career in 35-minute interview, admitting that he’s always disappointed with his films
Woody Allen may not know what a podcast is, but that didn’t stop him from making his first appearance on one. The prolific director sat down for a 35-minute chat with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, covering a wide range of topics throughout his career. However, there was no mention at all of the sex abuse claims brought by his daughter Dylan Farrow in an open letter in February.
Allen had publicly responded to her New York Times open letter with the suggestion that her mother, Mia Farrow, had coached her to make the accusations.
Allen did open up about many of his personal experiences on the podcast, as well as his professional triumphs and frustrations. For one thing, he said he doesn’t like any of his own films. “I am always disappointed,” he admitted. “There is always a big difference in what one sets out to make and what one ends up with.”
He talked about all the variables that come up during film production that can change the initial vision of the story during the writing process.
He was able to boast that his films didn’t lose money, but he said they didn’t really make money either. He said that he’s very upfront with potential investors, telling them he demands complete creative control and that they’re unlikely to turn a profit. “Only one in a few are very profitable. I don’t think it is a good investment,” he laughed.
Allen’s childhood was certainly peppered with bad experiences, as he recalled negatively both prayer and school during the interview. “When I was a kid they beat you into praying,” he said, indicating that he doesn’t do it now because he sees it as meaningless.
He also didn’t have much use for schooling as a boy. “The greatest pleasure of my life was to play hooky,” he said. “Much of childhood was loathsome, because it was school. It is not like where my kids go to school. We had brutal terrible teachers. They taught you not to learn and to hate it. I had very nice memories of playing hooky and of Friday afternoons.”
When asked about his favorite scenes, Allen cited “the scenes in ‘Blue Jasmine’ where Cate Blanchett blew up and lost her cool.” He was quick to add, “Individual scenes I have enjoyed, I just don’t like the films! The [‘Match Point’] scene where Jonathan Rhys Meyers is flirting with Scarlett Johansson at the ping pong table. People don’t realize that she was only 19 years old when she made that film.”
Allen has been very fond of many of his female stars. He’s been lucky enough to work with some of the best. As for the men, though, Allen said they’re very hard to get. “They are always busy. I have called [Robert] De Niro, I’ve spoken on the phone to Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson,” he said. “Now I am working with Joaquin Phoenix, who is a great actor, and Sean Penn. I just haven’t had the opportunity to work with some of our greatest: Pacino, De Niro, Nicholson.”