‘Celebrity‘ is the 28th film written and directed by Woody Allen.
Coming straight after Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity is another harsh, angry film. Shot in stark black and white and with a biting, sour message.
Kenneth Branagh stars as Lee Simon, a journalist with aspirations of higher writing. Along with his ex wife, Robin (Judy Davis), the two go on a search for happiness through fame. Lee by hanging around it, Robin by becoming it.
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Cast & Crew
- Hugh Grant was supposedly offered the role of Lee, but then later lost it to Kenneth Branagh. Grant would work with Allen a couple of years later in Small Time Crooks
- Drew Barrymore, who worked with Allen on Everyone Says I Love You, was the first choice for Nola. Kate Winslet was later considered.
- Michael Imperioli was up for a role, but gave it up for ‘The Sopranos‘. Sam Rockwell took his place.
- Vanessa Redgrave was featured in a role which Allen re-shot completely with Elaine Stritch. The character was later cut altogether and replaced by a different, younger character played by Bebe Neuwirth.
- One of cinematographer Sven Nykvist final films. He worked with Allen twice previously. He was going blind at the time, and this partly inspired Hollywood Ending.
- Magician David Blaine makes a cameo in the DiCaprio scenes. Allen would guest in one of Blaine’s TV specials in 2014.
- The last Allen film to feature editor Susan E Morse. Morse worked on every Allen film since Annie Hall. Sadly, she would be cut due to cost measures implemented by Sweetland films, Allen’s production partner.
- Stylistically and thematically, this film owes a lot to Frederico Fellini‘s ‘La Dolce Vita‘.
Locations (show map)
- The opening and closing scenes, the making of a film, is shot at 375 Park Avenue, Manhattan.
- The model catwalk is at the Manhattan end of the Queensboro Bridge. It’s the same bridge featured in Manhattan.
- Lee and the supermodel head off into the night from The Cherokee (517 East 77th Street)
- Brandon Darrow stays at the Stanhope Hotel (995 5th Avenue and East 81st Street)
- Lee, Bonnie and friends eat at Elaine’s (1703 2nd Avenue)
- Lee and Nola meet at the Franklin St and West Broadway subway stop.
- Celebrities arrive at the Ziegfield Theatre (141 West 54th Street)