Blake Lively: Working With Woody Allen Is "Very Empowering"

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Blake Lively with Woody Allen at Cannes

"It's really cool to work with a director who's done so much, because he knows exactly what he wants."

Woody Allen directed Blake Lively in Cafe Society, which hits U.S. theaters in July after premiering at Cannes, and the actress raved about Allen in a recent interview with Hamptons magazine.

Lively said Allen "creates a very pleasant set where everybody’s just happy to be there and happy to be making a movie, and happy to be a part of film history."

The actress said she enjoyed Allen's confidence in directing, saying it gave her confidence in her acting. "It’s really cool to work with a director who’s done so much, because he knows exactly what he wants," said Lively." The fact that he does one shot for an entire scene — [and] this could be a scene with eight people and one to two takes — it gives you a level of confidence because when he’s got it, he knows he’s got it."

She said Allen is "really encouraging" and often tells actors to improvise their lines. "His dialogue is so specific, and it’s speaking in a 1930s dialect and [with period] references, so it’s intimidating to think, Oh, let me just improvise there and hope that my words blend seamlessly alongside Woody Allen’s. Which they clearly wouldn’t and don’t. But he’s very empowering."

It doesn't seem like Lively was asked about supporting Allen despite the sexual assault allegations that Allen has been accused of by adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. In fact, just as Cafe Society was premiering at Cannes, Ronan Farrow wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in support of his sister. 

"That kind of silence isn't just wrong. It's dangerous," wrote Ronan, talking about actors who decide to work with Allen and journalists who don't question them on it. "It sends a message to victims that it's not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we'll overlook, who we'll ignore, who matters and who doesn't."

Meanwhile, Lively said she appreciated spending time with co-stars Jesse Eisenberg and Parker Posey. 

"Luckily, both of them had worked with Woody before, so they had experience in what the process was like," said Lively. "The first day I met Parker, she knew how nervous I was, and she reached under the table and grabbed my hand and just held it when Woody came over to give us notes after the first take. That was really nice to feel so quietly seen and supported."

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