Woody Allen In Depth Profile In New York Observer

Woody Allen CREDIT: Emily Assiran/New York Observer

The New York Observer has published one of the best new interviews with Woody Allen. The in depth profile coincides with the release of Magic In The Moonlight, the new film written and directed by Allen. We will wrap up all the press bits, but we wanted to highlight this lovely feature.

Written by Roger Friedman, you can read the full interview at NY Observer.

There are lots of highlights, but we have picked a couple to showcase here.

He had good things to say about Joaquin Phoenix, who is starring in his 2015 Film.

He’s clearly enamored of Mr. Phoenix: “He’s full of emotion and agony. If he says, ‘Pass the salt,’ it’s like the scene where Oedipus puts his eyes out.”

He also talked about the recently departed Elaine Stritch.

“I’ve been very lucky. I was thinking about this because [Elaine] Stritch died.” The Broadway legend and quintessential brassy New York broad starred in his 1987 drama, September. The two of them used to poke fun at each other: “We were at rehearsal shooting. She would come out in just her body stocking. People would say, ‘Go back inside!’ I would say, ‘No one wants to see you that way because we’re going to eat in a few minutes!’” Rim shot. “Every time I saw her we used to kid each other.

On Colin Firth and Emma Stone, the two stars on ‘Magic In The Moonlight‘.

“He’s a very, very skillful actor. You can see it in ‘The King’s Speech‘. Here he’s a charming leading man. There he’s the mumbling, stuttering king. He’s great in both of them. And she’s”—he indicates Ms. Stone—“a natural movie star. She’s a movie star. She’s beautiful,” he says, “in an interesting way.”

Allen has an iPhone and his daughters like Katy Perry.

The iPhone is only for music and/or making and taking calls. He doesn’t email or surf the web. Ms. Stone, he says, recently showed him how to text. “I’m so untechnical. I don’t have a word processor. I still have my typewriter, the Olympia portable.” When I mention clips of him on YouTube, he shrugs. He’s never seen it. His daughters, however, are appropriately tech savvy. He says, sounding like every other parent, “They’re on their phones obsessively. And their mother catches them at 12:30 at night. It drives her crazy.” What do they listen to? “Something called One Direction,” he pauses, thinking, “and Katy Perry, and Rihanna.” Does he ever listen? “They have earphones. It’s their music, their generation.”

He wants to make a film about Bob Hope

He does have heroes, however. Mr. Allen is still obsessed with Bob Hope, for example. “I just finished reading this wonderful biography of Bob Hope, by Richard Zoglin. For me it’s a feast. Full of funny lines, quotes you can hear Hope saying them. I would love to make a Bob Hope movie, even an homage to Hope called Hope Springs Eternal, but I fear no one would see it. I’m always defending him to people.”

There is so much more. Allen drinks beer. He talks about his great cinematographers. How Juliet Taylor encouraged him to rewrite Midnight In Paris.


Allen also made their cover with an illustration by Philip Burke, and a series of great photos by Emily Assiran.

Really, check out the full interview at the Observer.


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  1. i just returned home from seeing Woody’s latest at the Angelika in Plano Texas. Woody and everyone involved did a splendid job! Great script. Great directing. Great acting. Great cinematography. Woody’s still got it. I’m even thinking about taking in a second viewing. Looking forward to the bluray release.

  2. I just saw Magic in the Moonlight on Tuesday in L.A. It was a really enjoyable film. Strong story, and breathtaking cinematography. When I read the interview by Roger Ebert regarding this film, I looked for the lovely warm colors, and beautiful light of the South of France, and was not disappointed. I hope the film does really well, and recommend it to Woody Allen fans. 🙂

  3. Waited for a long time to see Magic in the Moonlight. I just love Woody Allen’s films. They are artistic endeavors and paint in cinema with a skilled lush canvas. The locations and interiors, the colors and camerawork are romance in film. Wonderful movie:)

    He always pleases me with the direction he comes from. This one being that hope for a world beyond expressed in the popular spiritualist movement. Recalling the opulence of old families of wealth living in the ’20s and the main stage of that movement.

    The film deals with that obsession that was sadly exploited. The innocent and desperate persons mourning the loss of loved ones, trusting in presentations of the unseen by charlatans is digested uneasily by the main character.

    He longs to disprove the chicanery with a sense of justice but it is revealed he secretly longs for hard proof there is more than just the material world.

    I found his main character’s goal poignant and noble and likely inspired by Houdini’s own tireless efforts to disprove the fake spiritualists.

    I also feel that is the expression of the director, Woody Allen. I hope one day he finds his proof of the world beyond.

    Woody once made me laugh with his reference to immortality, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.”

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