"My philosophy, since I started many years ago in show business, is that no matter what happens is to keep focused on my work," Woody Allen said

By Dave Quinn
July 09, 2019 02:51 PM
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Despite years of controversy that has followed his career — including allegations of child molestation, which he has long denied — director Woody Allen says he has no plans to give up making films anytime soon.

I never think of retiring. It’s not just something that has occurred to me,” the 83-year-old Oscar winner told reporters at a press conference in San Sebastián on Tuesday, according to Screen Daily.

In late 2017, Allen faced resurfaced allegations of child molestation by his daughter Dylan Farrow, who publicly claimed in a New York Times open letter in 2014 that Allen molested her as a child. Allen has long denied the allegations, which were first reported during his explosive 1992 split from Mia Farrow. The director was not charged, though a Connecticut prosecutor said there was probable cause for a criminal case.

“My philosophy, since I started many years ago in show business, is that no matter what happens is to keep focused on my work,” Allen said on Tuesday. “No matter what happens in my life with my wife, children, current events, politics or illness, I focus on my work and that’s all that really absorbs my time and effort seven days a week. I deal mostly with human relations, people and comedy. So I don’t think of retiring.”

“I’ll probably die in the midst of setting a film shot one day on the set, making a movie,” he added.

Woody Allen
| Credit: Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty

Allen was in the costal Spanish city to begin production on his new untitled film, which centers on a married American couple who plan a trip to the San Sebastian Film Festival where the wife has an affair with a French director and the husband falls in love with a beautiful Spanish woman from the area.

Christoph Waltz, Gina Gershon, and Elena Anaya are headlining the cast, alongside Sergi López and Wallace Shawn. All except Waltz joined Allen for Tuesday’s press conference.

There, Gershon and Anaya opened up about working with Allen in the context of the allegations against him.

“It’s a wild time in America,” Gerson, 57, said of working with Allen, according to Screen Daily. “I personally think that you really have to look at every single situation and decide about how you feel about it. I can say with a very fair conscience, I’m so thrilled to be here. It feels like a dream come true.”

“While I think there’s a lot of good coming out of these different movements, I also feel that it’s really important that people take a look at every single situation and make up their own minds about it,” Gerson added.

Anaya (The Skin I Live In) called Allen “a genius” and “one of the best film directors in the world.”

“I’m responsible for the projects I choose, and he has written a wonderful character for me,” she said. “As a woman and as an actress I feel very lucky to be able to work with him.”

Woody Allen and businessman Jaume Roures with actors Sergi López, Gina Gershon, Elena Anaya, and Wallace Shawn
| Credit: Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty

Allen is currently involved in a legal suit with Amazon. The company shelved his previous feature — A Rainy Day in New York — after previous allegations of abuse by Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow resurfaced.

He sued the company for $68 million in February, claiming Amazon was in breach of the four-film agreement they had signed.

Amazon defended its decision to cut ties with Allen in April in a response to his lawsuit. The company claimed the director “sabotag[ed]” efforts to promote his film by repeatedly weighing in on the #MeToo movement and Farrow’s allegations.

In May, Allen self-released the trailer for A Rainy Day in New York on his personal Facebook page.

The film stars Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Diego Luna and Suki Waterhouse, and follows the story of a young couple played by Chalamet and Fanning who travel to New York City for a weekend only to be met with bad weather and a series of adventures.

Woody Allen at Tuesday’s press conference
| Credit: Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty

Chalamet notably distanced himself from the project in January in wake of the #MeToo movement, vowing to donate his salary from the film to three charities. “I am learning that a good role isn’t the only criteria for accepting a job — that has become much clearer to me in the past few months, having witnessed the birth of a powerful movement intent on ending injustice, inequality and above all, silence,” Chalamet wrote on Instagram.

While the film was canceled for release by Amazon Studios, it’ll hit theaters in France on Sept. 18.

“I have no news whatsoever about the release [of A Rainy Day In New York] in the United States,” Allen told the press on Tuesday, Screen Daily reported. “It’s going to open in a couple of weeks in Europe. In the US either one distributor will come forward or not, I have no control over that. I can only make the film and hope that people will enjoy it. All I know is there are no plans to release it at the moment. I don’t know what will happen. It’s out of my control.”