Woody Allen covers the July/Aug issue of WSJ magazine.
Photographed by Terry Richardson, Allen preps for the release of his 48th film, Blue Jasmine. The prolific director chats with the magazine about regrets, and not being able to give up what he loves…show business.
Check out a couple of snippets from his interview below.
On regretting never playing the romantic lead:
“It’s an inevitable disaster of aging, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” he said recently, sitting in the cutting and screening room he rents in a swanky East Side apartment building. (It says “Manhattan Film Center” on the door, but in fact the place used to be a bridge club.) “I can’t play the scenes where I’m sitting opposite Diane Keaton or Mia or Dianne Wiest or Judy Davis. If I think of parts for myself now, all I can be is Pop, the lovable doorman backstage at the theater who takes phone numbers for the guys, or the psychiatrist, or the amiable dad at the wedding.” He sighed. “I like to be the lover.”
On not meeting actors, rehearsing, or talking about characters before shooting:
“I’ve worked with amazing people over the years,” Allen said. “Meryl Streep, Geraldine Page, Maureen Stapleton, Judy Davis and Gena Rowlands, one after the other, these fabulous women—what do I have to teach them? If Cate, or anyone, is doing it too fast or too slow, or too theatrically or not theatrically enough, I might go over and say, ‘Why don’t you try that a little faster next time?’ They do it, and that’s the extent of my direction.”
On not paying his actors salaries (they get paid by the union instead):
“We have very good luck because actors aren’t always offered a lot of stimulating things,” Allen said. “The kinds of films that get made now don’t always have great acting roles. So when people get a chance to really act, even if it’s for no money, which it is, they grab it.”
This issue of WSJ is on newsstands now. For Allen’s full-on feature, visit Online.WSJ.com.