`I am a very normal person'
By Mrinalini Sundar
17th September 2012 05:00 PM
A man of peculiar habits, Woody Allen, 76, likes to follow a set routine everyday.
In interviews, the director, actor, author, playwright and musician says he exercises on a treadmill every morning, before taking a shower. If he happens to be in a bathroom where the shower drain is not in the corner, he won’t use it. He makes his own breakfast, enjoys basketball, a beer and a football game.
And he loves Europe. Cinephiles are well aware of the last.
He is known to work on a small budget and his movies range from the much-loved 'Annie Hall' (1977) to 'Manhattan' (1979) and 'Hannah and her Sisters' (1986).
And let’s not forget the Oscar-nominated 'Midnight in Paris', his biggest box office hit.
His latest, 'To Rome With Love', sees Allen make his first appearance in front of the camera since 2006’s Scoop.
In an email interview, he tell us about being branded ‘a foreign filmmaker’ and why he isn’t a fan of his old movies.
Why do you prefer shooting your movies in Europe? One nice perk is that these foreign countries welcome you so generously. They close off streets and you get police help, they’re so enthused about it. It’s not like you leave home and you’re stranded in the desert and nobody knows what to do with the lights. You go to a new city and it’s great, you have new restaurants, new places to go to, it’s very exciting.
How did 'To Rome with Love' happen?
I had been talking about making a film in Rome for years, with my distributors in Rome. They said, ‘Come and do it. We’ll put up all the money necessary’. And I jumped at the chance because I wanted to work in Rome and it was an opportunity to get the money to work quickly and from a single source.
Critics say you are trying to be pegged as an ‘international filmmaker’.
I wanted nothing more than to be a foreign filmmaker because I couldn’t raise money any other way. Everybody is so generous there.
Do you agree that your movies have a limited audience?
I make movies when I feel I have a good idea. If people want to watch it or don’t want to watch it, it’s up to them.
Do you have any regrets at all?
No, I don’t have the habit of looking back at things and most of the time I am busy doing something or perhaps reading.
Has language been an issue, what with the ensemble cast in your movies?
The language barrier is minimal, as most of them speak a little English or I can struggle through a minimal amount of whatever they speak.
People think you are an intellectual and a very serious person...
I don’t know how people define intellect and seriousness. I just know I am a very normal person; I have a wife, I have children, I work and I work out. If this is being intellectual and serious, then maybe I am.
Tell us about your role in To Rome With Love?
I play Jerry, a retired music executive and former opera director who travels to Italy to meet his daughter’s fiancé. Upon his arrival in the Eternal City, Jerry encounters his future son-in-law’s father, an undertaker who happens to have a perfect operatic voice — but only when he’s singing in the shower.
Do you find yourself wanting to present some of your movies differently?
I never look back or watch the old movies I made; I don’t like them anymore.
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