Woody Allen films have long been read by viewers as thinly veiled takes on Allen’s real life (“Woody Allen: Parallels in life and art: How the filmmaker’s affair with Soon-Yi, Mia Farrow’s eldest daughter, shaped the making of his latest film, Husbands and Wives” read a headline published by EW in 1992). But according to Allen, there is no such connection.
“I never see any evidence of anything in my private life resonating in film,” Allen told NPR when asked if moviegoers carry “external baggage into the theater” when seeing one of his films. “If I come out with a film people want to see they flock to see it, which means they see it to degree of Manhattan or Annie Hall or Midnight in Paris. That’s my outer limits. If I come out with a film they don’t want to see, they don’t come.”
Before that question, Allen was asked about the allegations that he sexually abused Dylan Farrow when she was a child, and if the claims affected how audiences view of his body of work.
“I would say no,” Allen said. “I always had a small audience. People did not come in great abundance and they still don’t, and I’ve maintained the same audience over the years. If the reviews are bad, they don’t come. If the reviews are good, they probably come.”
Last year, Farrow wrote an open letter in the New York Times about the alleged abuse, which first drew national attention in 1992 when Allen and Mia Farrow, his then partner, split up. Allen later wrote his own piece disputing Dylan Farrow’s claims in the Times.
“This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party,” Allen wrote at the end of the Times piece. “Enough people have been hurt.”
For the full interview, head to NPR.