Filmmaker Allen likes his "paternal" relationship with his wife, who's 35 years his junior

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated November 01, 2005 02:00 PM

As he approaches his 70th birthday on Dec. 1, the notoriously private Woody Allen at long last opens up on the scandal that rocked his life – and, some say, permanently damaged his public reputation – some 13 years ago.

That’s when Mia Farrow learned that the filmmaker she was involved with was, in fact, having an affair with her daughter, Soon-Yi Previn – a fact that Farrow first discovered when she stumbled upon naked photos of Previn in Allen’s New York apartment.

“If somebody told me when I was younger, ‘You’re going to wind up married to a girl 35 years younger than you and a Korean, not in show-business’ … I would have said ‘You’re completely crazy’,” Allen tells Vanity Fair magazine.

According to advance quotes from the interview, Allen also claims to have found no wisdom with aging. “I’ve gained no insight, no mellowing,” he says. “I would make the same mistakes again.”

Allen calls his relationship with Previn, now 35, “one of the fortuitous events, one of the great pieces of luck in my life” and something that has “a more paternal feeling to it.’ As he explains it, “Whenever there’s a disagreement, it’s never an adversarial thing. I don’t ever feel that I’m with a hostile or threatening person.”

As for their life together, he says, “She’s very self-possessed and she runs the house and our kids and our life.” Allen has two adopted daughters with Previn (Bechet Dumaine and Manzie Tio), and three children with Farrow, though it is said that he and the actress, 60, are still not speaking – a fact that did little to dissuade him from considering her for a role in his 1995 “Mighty Aphrodite.”

However, the casting director on the film reportedly talked him out of it. But Allen admits he’d have been comfortable with his ex-partner in the movie – or, for that matter, just about anybody.

All right not just anybody. There’s “a line that you draw,” he quips, sounding again like the old Woody Allen. “I wouldn’t put, you know, (Nazi mastermind) Hermann Goering in a part.”