Woody Allen is back — premiering what he said could be his last movie at the Venice Film Festival and giving a buzzy interview in which he once again denied allegations that he molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was 7 and dismissed efforts to “cancel” him as “silly.”
In the interview with Variety, the 87-year-old auteur also made the case again that he could be a “poster boy” for the #MeToo movement because he’s always written great roles for women — including Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Cate Blanchett — and because, he insists, he never acted inappropriately with any of the hundreds of actresses and female crew members he has employed on his productions over the past half century.
Woody Allen sits with Mariel Hemingway at Yankee Stadium in New York, during the World Series Oct. 13, 1978.
But in his Variety interview, Allen appeared to have forgotten that Mariel Hemingway once said he tried to seduce her when she was 18, after she starred as his teenage lover in his 1979 film “Manhattan.” Allen’s interview, as he premiered his new film, “Coup de Chance,” also drew a rebuke from one of his best-known female stars, Mira Sorvino.
While Allen helped Sorvino win an Academy Award for her role in 1995’s “Mighty Aphrodite,” Sorvino on Sunday shared a link to an open letter she wrote to Farrow in 2018, expressing her support to Farrow for having “the courage” to press her sexual abuse allegations against her father and apologizing to her for not taking those allegations seriously until recently.
Seeing that Woody Allen is trending, & as the world seemingly has a short memory, I leave this here: Exclusive: Mira Sorvino’s Open Letter To Dylan Farrow | HuffPost Women https://t.co/xUwIIEoobL
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) September 4, 2023
Allen told Variety that he had nothing new to say about Farrow’s allegations, which first emerged in 1992 amid his bitter and legally contentious breakup from his longtime partner, Mia Farrow, the mother of Dylan Farrow and journalist Ronan Farrow. Allen also was dismissive of Dylan participating in the 2021 HBO docuseries, “Allen v. Farrow,” in which she went into detail about her father’s alleged sexual abuse and his uncomfortable fixation on her when she was a young girl.
“My reaction has always been the same,” Allen told Variety. “The situation has been investigated by two people, two major bodies, not people, but two major investigative bodies. And both, after long detailed investigations, concluded there was no merit to these charges. … There was nothing to it. The fact that it lingers on always makes me think that maybe people like the idea that it lingers on. You know, maybe there’s something appealing to people.”
Allen, though, didn’t comment on how the docuseries alleged that his relationship with his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, who is Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, began when Previn was still in high school. Similarly, neither Allen nor the Variety interview addressed how the series explored another reason that Allen has probably been cast out of the Hollywood industry: His romantic preoccupation with teenage girls in his work, notably in “Manhattan.” In the film, once considered one of Allen’s best, his 42-year-old character dates a 17-year-old girl, played by Hemingway.
Dylan Farrow sits down with “CBS This Morning” to talk about allegedly being sexually assaulted by Woody Allen in 1992. (CBS)
In Hemingway’s 2015 memoir, “Out Came the Sun,” she explained how that preoccupation was real, at least when it came to her, according to Vanity Fair. She claimed that Allen attempted to lure her to Paris once she turned 18 — two years after she had filmed Manhattan.
“Our relationship was platonic, but I started to see that he had a kind of crush on me, though I dismissed it as the kind of thing that seemed to happen any time middle-aged men got around young women,” Hemingway wrote in her book, according to Vanity Fair.
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In other interviews, Hemingway has said there was nothing “romantic” between them while they were filming “Manhattan” and she has spoken positively about the experience of being directed by him. However, she also said he devoted a lot of time to her off-screen and described behavior that some might call grooming.
“In real life, Woody and I didn’t have a romantic relationship, but he did make me feel incredibly intelligent,” Hemingway told W magazine in 2011. “He took me to museums and concerts. He gave me his wisdom, and you can see that in the character.”
While making the movie, Hemingway also recalled how the older actor gave her her first real-life kiss as they filmed a scene in which their characters passionately kiss during a carriage ride around Central Park. “Fortunately, it was a long shot and I didn’t have to do much . . . he attacked me like I was a linebacker.”
Two years later, Allen decided to act on feelings he apparently developed for Hemingway while making “Manhattan,” she said in her book. When he visited Hemingway and her parents at their home in Idaho, she said she told her parents, “I didn’t know what the (sleeping) arrangement was going to be (in Paris) … I wasn’t sure if I was even going to have my own room. Woody hadn’t said that. He hadn’t even hinted it. But I wanted them to put their foot down. They didn’t. They kept lightly encouraging me.”
During Allen’s visit in Idaho, she wrote that she woke up at night with the realization that “(no) one was going to get their own room. His plan, such as it was, involved being with me.” She said she went into his guest room and woke him up asking, “I’m not going to get my own room, am I? I can’t go to Paris with you.”
Hemingway said Allen left Idaho the next morning, according to Vanity Fair.