Director Woody Allen is speaking openly about the actors who denounced him at the height of the #MeToo era, despite working with him in his films.
“I assume that for the rest of my life a large number of people will think I was a predator,” he says in a new interview with the Guardian ahead of the U.K. release of his latest romantic dramedy, “A Rainy Day In New York.” The film was part of a multi-picture deal with Amazon that crashed to a halt when accusations against Harvey Weinstein started making headlines, thanks to Allen’s own son, Ronan Farrow.
“Anything I say sounds self-serving and defensive, so it’s best if I just go my way and work,” Allen says of the long-standing accusations that he molested adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. At the time, Allen was investigated and determined there were no signs of physical abuse and that Dylan had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow according to multiple expert testimonies. The allegations have plagued Allen over the years, once again coming to the forefront in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
“I thought people would see it as laughable rubbish right away and from Day 1 I never really took it seriously,” the 84-year-old says. “I mean, it’s like being confronted with a story that I murdered six people with a machine gun.”
Allen counts a roster of celebrity friends and stars of his films, including Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Daniels, Selena Gomez, and Jeff Goldblum, who have stood by him amid allegations.
“I assure them it’s not something they will ever be embarrassed having done,” he writes in his recent memoir.
Still, there are other actors who previously worked with him who have since denounced the director or admitted their “regret” in working with him, including Rebecca Hall, Michael Caine, Mira Sorvino, Peter Sarsgaard, and Hayley Atwell.
Of their decision to turn their backs on Allen and their work with him, the director says, “It’s silly. The actors have no idea of the facts and they latch on to some self-serving, public, safe position. Who in the world is not against child molestation? That’s how actors and actresses are, and [denouncing me] became the fashionable thing to do, like everybody suddenly eating kale.”
Allen made a point in his memoir to single out Timothee Chalamet who stars in “A Rainy Day In New York”.
“Timothée afterward publicly stated he regretted working with me and was giving the money to charity. But he swore to my sister he needed to do that as he was up for an Oscar for ‘Call Me By Your Name’, and he and his agent felt he had a better chance of winning if he denounced me, so he did,” Allen wrote in his memoir.
In his interview with the Guardian, Allen is noted as speaking about the effect the allegations have had on his career with “calmness” and not anger.
“From that perspective, I’m not angry. I’m angry that I was deprived of seeing my children grow up and I’m angry at what’s been done to Dylan and Ronan,” he says. “I haven’t spoken a word to the children in over 25 years and they’ve been raised to think the worst of me. So sure, I was angry about that. But, professionally, I haven’t suffered at all.”
Accepting that some people will never view the allegations against him as false, Allen ends with some perspective.
“There are many injustices in the world far worse than this. So you live with it,” he says.