Woody Allen talks about his new movie “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” and briefly discusses his filmmaking process. As it turns out, he is just as insecure and critical of his work as any artist. Who knew?
“I always start out thinking I’m going to make the greatest thing in the world, and I always hate my film when I’m finished. It’s just automatic,” Allen said. “I didn’t know it would be that way when I started. When I made ‘Take the Money and Run,’ I figured, ‘This is going to be the funniest comedy ever made.’ And I’m enjoying working on it and then I put it together and I think, ‘My God, this is embarrassing.’ A variation of that has happened to me, with the exception of ‘Match Point,’ on every film I’ve ever done — when I finished ‘Annie Hall,’ ‘ Manhattan,’ ‘Whatever Works,’ ‘Bullets Over Broadway,’ any film, this film.”
Allen has come to pursue a style of filmmaking he refers to as “Chekhovian” while also acknowledging the limits of his own ambitions — “the missing ingredient is that Chekhov was a great genius and that can’t be quantified.”
On directing actors:
“I try never to talk to them,” he said of his technique directing actors. “There’s no point. You have Anthony Hopkins, what am I going to say to him? I hire them to get out of their way. They made great movies before me, they’ll make great movies after me, and I just don’t want to mess them up. “
When his new actress, Lucy Punch, meets him for the first time:
Lucy Punch didn’t actually meet Allen until she was already cast as the naive gold digger named Charmaine and had done a wardrobe fitting to try out her character’s trashy, revealing regalia.
“I went up to him and was terribly excited, obviously,” Punch said, “and gave him this big hug and he went very, very stiff and started pulling away from me. It was very, very awkward, and I sort of walked away wondering what had I done and everyone was like, ‘You don’t hug Woody.'”
Say what you will about him and his private life, I happen to think this man is a genius and has made some of the best films ever. Annie Hall. Manhattan. Crimes and Misdemeanors, for example. Even his regular films are beyond good.
I would want to hug him too I guess. In the meantime can’t wait to see “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”