Woody Allen has no plans to give up film-making despite the years of controversy that has dogged his directing career. "I never think of retiring. It's not just something that has occurred to me," Allen said at a press conference in San Sebastian to launch production on his new film, which is set in Spain and funded by the Spanish media giant Mediapro.
It stars Christoph Waltz, Gina Gershon and Elena Anaya, and is informally known as Rifkin's Festival – though is still officially called Woody Allen Summer Project 2019.
Allen said: “My philosophy, since I started many years ago in show business, is that no matter what happens is to focus on my work . . . 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.
He added: “I’ll probably die in the midst of setting a film shot one day on the set, making a movie.”
Allen is mired in a legal dispute with Amazon, after the studio shelved his last film, A Rainy Day in New York; Allen launched a $68 million legal action alleging Amazon had broken its contract with him. Amazon responded by claiming that Allen had "sabotaged" the prospects of the film – and its predecessor, Wonder Wheel – by his comments about sex abuse accusations by his daughter Dylan Farrow and the #MeToo campaign.
Gershon defended Allen at the press conference, saying: “It’s a wild time in America . . . 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.”
Gershon joins the likes of Javier Bardem, who appeared in Allen's last Spain-set film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Anjelica Huston in refusing to join a boycott of the film-maker after a string of actors – including Greta Gerwig, Timothée Chalamet, Colin Firth and Rebecca Hall – expressed their regret at working with him.
Allen was not aware of any plans to release A Rainy Day in New York in the US, despite a number of European distributors picking it up. “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.” – Guardian