Adrien Brody: Roman Polanski and Woody Allen's Sexual Assault Allegations 'Not Something to Focus On'
French comedian Laurent Lafitte’s Roman Polanski rape joke and Ronan Farrow’s Woody Allen column have put allegations of sexual assault against both directors back into the spotlight.
Adrien Brody, who has worked with both filmmakers, spoke out about the allegations on Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy Monday, and offered his take on whether the director’s personal lives can be separated from their art.
“Life is very complicated,” Brody, 43, said. “I look to collaborate with artistic people and to go into an endeavor without judgment and to hopefully be treated with the same. It’s an artistic pursuit, and Polanski for instance had a very complicated and difficult life. It would be unfair of me to delve into something as complicated as the past that was brought up in the media.”
Polanski fled the United States in 1977 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in a case involving a 13-year-old girl, and has continued to directing films abroad. Lafitte made reference to the situation during the Cannes Film Festival’s opening ceremony, in a joke many initially assumed was aimed at Allen. Brody, meanwhile, won an Oscar working with the director on 2002’s The Pianist.
As for Allen, the comedian has staunchly denied his daughter, Dylan Farrow’s, claims that he sexually assaulted her as a child. He has also responded to a Hollywood Reporter column in which his son, Ronan Farrow, defended his sister’s accusations, and blamed the media for giving Allen a free pass. Allen told reporters at Cannes, “I’ve said everything I have to say about the whole situation in The New York Times.” He added, “I have so moved on. I never think about it. I work and do my movies.” Brody last worked with the director on 2011’s Midnight in Paris. In 2014, Allen told The New York Times denied molesting Dylan Farrow saying that he “found the idea so ludicrous” that he initially “didn’t give it a second thought.”
Asked if he thinks private lives should be separated from work, the actor replied, “Well, to a certain extent. I mean, again, people make mistakes in lives.”
Brody also addressed the apparent difference between the treatment of Bill Cosby, who has come under media fire for alleged sexual abuse, and Allen, who continues to draw A-list star talent to his films.
“I don’t even read about these things, to be honest,” Brody said. “I choose not to indulge this kind of fodder.”
He added, “I think there’s a lot of catastrophe in this world and a lot of cruelty and a lot of carelessness. Of course it’s horrible what comes out sometimes, and people have done things in their lives that may be inexcusable, but it’s not something to focus on.”