Woody Allen's First Podcast: 7 Revelations From the 'Magic in the Moonlight' Director

9:47 PM PST 07/21/2014 by Debbie Emery
Associated Press

The director revealed why he is always disappointed with his films, his favorite scenes and why he thinks the New York Knicks will finally win an NBA championship — but made no mention of daughter Dylan Farrow's sex abuse claims.

Woody Allen made history Sunday when he opened up to MTV News' Josh Horowitz in his first podcast appearance, admitting "I don't know what a podcast is," while also eating his first vanilla Tootsie roll.

Among the wide range of topics touched on by the pair during the 35-minute interview for Happy Sad Confused were why the 78-year-old is never satisfied with his films, his favorite leading ladies and lack of leading men, his love of candy and the New York Knicks.

Notably absent from the interview was any mention of daughter Dylan Farrow and the open letter that she sent to The New York Times in February claiming that he sexually abused her when she was seven. The accusation led to a bitter back-and-forth with Allen, who suggested in his own op-ed that Mia Farrow had coached their daughter to make the accusations. 

Read highlights from the Magic in the Moonlight director's candid chat below.

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1. He's disappointed with all his films.

"I am always disappointed — there is always a big difference in what one sets out to make and what one ends up with.

"What you set out to make is in your mind … in fantasy, it is what exists on paper. "Emma [Stone] is going to do this line and it will be great," then when you do it, Emma doesn't want to do those lines as they are hard to do — or the weather was not so great so we have to shift it to a different location because the sunlight is too harsh there. Or it takes her much longer to shuffle the deck of cards than you thought."

2. He hated school.

The greatest pleasure of my life was to play hooky. I would be sitting there [in the movie theater] at 10:30 in the morning watching a film. There were no truant officers; they were only in comic books. Much of childhood was loathsome, because it was school. It is not like where my kids go to school — we had brutal, terrible teachers. They taught you not to learn and to hate it. I had very nice memories of playing hooky and of Friday afternoons.

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3. Why Hollywood's biggest actors don't appear in his movies.

"For years, most of the films I made starred me. Then I mostly I wrote for women — I worked with all the great women. The guys are great but they are hard to get; they are always busy. I have called [Robert] De Niro, I've spoken on the phone to Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson. Nicholson was going to do Hannah and Her Sisters — I wasn't thinking of Michael Caine at the time as I wasn't thinking of an English guy. It would never have occurred to me.

"Now I am working with Joaquin Phoenix, who is a great actor, and Sean Penn [but] I just haven't had the opportunity to work with some of our greatest — Pacino, De Niro, Nicholson — they're as great as it gets. I would love to work with [Kevin Spacey] — if I had anything for him I would do it in a minute."

4. His favorite scenes.

"The scenes in Blue Jasmine where Cate Blanchett blew up and lost her cool. Individual scenes I have enjoyed, I just don’t like the films! The scene where Jonathan Rhys Meyers is flirting with Scarlett Johansson at the ping-pong table [in Match Point]. People don't realize that she was only 19 years old when she made that film."

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5. His films don't lose money — but they don't make it either.

"If someone wants to back my films, they are told right away that you are not going to see a script, you are not going to be told anything about it, you put the money in the bank and that will be it. I will have complete say over the advertising and everything. It is really more of a preventative measure so that someone doesn't come up with a horrible thing and impose it on me. It is good to have the veto power, but I've never really had to use it.

"They [investors] know the budget is going to be modest, they know it will be a responsible experience, and they know that because the film cost so little, it is almost a sure thing that they'll break even, and they know that there is very little chance they'll get rich. Only one in a few are very profitable. I don't think it is a good investment!"

6. He never prays. 

"When I was a kid, they beat you into praying. But not in my adult life. It doesn't mean anything. It is like the people who tell you "Have a good day" — it doesn't work. You don't have a good day."

7. He thinks the New York Knicks will win the NBA championship soon.

"I do think if I am lucky, maybe in my lifetime. [Carmelo Anthony] is great. The Knicks are very lucky to have him, and if they didn't have him last year they would have won maybe in the single digits."

To listen to the podcast in full, click here.

 Magic in the Moonlight opens Friday and stars Colin Firth, Stone and Marcia Gay Harden

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