Finding a new muse in Scarlett Johansson was a happy accident for filmmaker Woody Allen because he was planning to make movies with Brit Kate Winslet.
The revered director had cast Titanic star Winslet in Match Point, but the actress had to pull out to spend more time with her kids â€” so Allen turned to Johansson.
The odd couple has gone on to make three films together, including new movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Allen says, “I had Kate Winslet right up to the last week in pre-production. Then she said she couldn’t do the picture because she had worked continually and had spent no time with her child.
“I forgave her and understood that completely but I didn’t know Scarlett from a hole in the wall. I thought she was too young; she was only 19 years old at the time.
“But I was in a hole and had to get someone fairly quickly. I knew Scarlett was a great actress and a beauty but I didn’t know if she was really what I had written. I hired her and became totally captivated by her.”
Allen admits the Lost In Translation star has become his latest muse, following in the footsteps of actresses and ex-lovers Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow.
He adds, “I would always call her, as I did with Diane and Mia for years. Mia was a wonderful actress and she never let me down. The same would be true with Scarlett.”
Woody Allen: “Scarlett was an accident”
Woody Allen has won three Oscars and been nominated 21 times but he says he still can’t get out of clarinet practice. The New Yorker can’t always get out of his hometown either, but he’s been making exceptions to shoot movies.
The latest is the romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona which opens in North America next Friday. In the movie, Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall play women on vacation in Barcelona who become embroiled in the lives of an artist (Javier Bardem) and his ex-wife (Penelope Cruz). The early consensus is that the movie is a return to Woody Allen form. Still, Allen’s never been one to pay attention to judgments â€” the self-confessed neurotic is too busy judging himself. So here is Allen on Allen.
On his health At 72, Allen’s looking fit, but before a recent meet-the-press gathering he offered this suggestion: “I’m a little hard of hearing, so for the questions you have to speak up,” he says. “Other than that, I’m in perfect shape.”
On writing for women He’s one of the best at developing dialogue for the opposite sex, which wasn’t always the case. “Then I got into Play It Again, Sam with Diane Keaton on stage,” he recalls. “Keaton and I started dating, we started living together, and became very close. Through some kind of Socratic osmosis I started writing for women.”
On being surrounded by women “I like women, I enjoy their company,” Allen says. “I get a big kick out of them.”
On Scarlett Johansson has become his latest kick, previously starring in Allen’s Match Point and Scoop.
“Yeah, Scarlett was an accident,” he says. He had hired Kate Winslet for Match Point but she dropped out at the last minute. “I didn’t know Scarlett from a hole in the wall,” Allen admits. But he was in a bind. “I hired her and became totally captivated by her,” says Allen.
On his past movie muses and love interests, Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow “Whenever there is a part that fits, I would always call her (Scarlett), as I did with Keaton for years,” he says. “I did that with Mia [Farrow]. And she never let me down. I think the same would be true with Scarlett.”
Source: National Post