“I think on some level Woody is a woman,” the actress, who stars in the controversial director’s new film Wonder Wheel, recently told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I just think he’s very in touch with that side of himself. He understands the female characters he creates exceptionally well,” she added. “His female characters are always so rich and large and honest in terms of how they’re feeling and he just knows how to write dialogue for them to communicate all that.”
Winslet has garnered heat for her defense of the director, who has a history of sexual misconduct allegations. In 2014, Dylan Farrow – who is one of the star’s three children with ex Mia Farrow – publicly claimed that Allen molested her as a child.
Allen adamantly denied Dylan’s claims at the time. His son Ronan Farrow also penned an column for the Hollywood Reporter, which addressed the sexual abuse claims and condemned the media for not asking Allen about the allegations and stars for working with him. In response, Allen told The Guardian, “I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity.”
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Dylan published an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, slamming Hollywood for giving Allen a pass in the wake of the #MeToo movement. In the piece, she criticizes Winslet’s willingness to work with her estranged father on the new film.
Asked whether the allegations against Allen played a factor in her decision to take the part, Winslet previously told Variety, “Um. It’s just a difficult discussion. I’d rather respectfully not enter it today.”
The actress also received some backlash when she briefly defended working with the director in an interview for the New York Times. In it, she said she ultimately decided to take the role after realizing that she didn’t “know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false.”
Asked about the criticism she faced on social media for the interview, Winslet said, “I don’t read how people respond to things. We’re always as actors going to say the wrong thing. I think it’s better to respectfully step away from the discussion.”
Wonder Wheel is in theaters now.