Woody Allen opened up about his relationship with his wife Soon-Yi Previn. He said the relationship with her is “paternal” in a rare candid interview which has drawn much notice and attention for that very rarity.
Seemingly from nowhere, the 79-year-old film director spoke out about his wife 44-year old Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former partner, Mia Farrow with her then-husband, conductor Andre Previn. He began an affair with Previn when she was a teenager amidst what went on to become a highly publicized split with Farrow, it was highly sensationalized media coverage by 1990s pre-Internet standards. The couple are still together after all these years and have two teenage daughters.
It was in the midst of an interview with Sam Fragoso of NPR, he made some comments which, not surprisingly have gone viral.
Woody Allen said, “I started the relationship with [wife Soon-Yi Previn] and I thought it would just be a fling. It wouldn’t be serious, but it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more.”
He continued, saying, “Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. And the age difference didn’t seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor actually.“
He added, “‘I’m 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. ‘I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things. She flourished. It was just a good luck thing.”
Allen’s comments are all the more surprising, as it reinvigorates news coverage of the 1990s scandal which was already revisited last year when his adopted daughter, with ex-partner Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, penned an open-letter essay in the New York Times which revisited the allegations of sexual abuse against him when she was but seven years old.
After so many years it found new life suddenly in a more unforgiving and much faster-paced news cycle as Hollywood A-listers took it upon themselves to take side or, in the absence of that to face the usual social media takedown.
Except for a blistering denial, also published in The New York Times, Woody Allen had been, as per custom, silent on the entire scandal.
That is until now. He did address the scandal in the interview, with NPR when asked if he thought it had affected his career and the success of his movies. He said, “I would say no. 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.”
Allen also addressed the endless speculation about and examination of his films saying it has “no meaning in the way I make movies, too. I never see any evidence of anything in my private life resonating in film.”
The rest of the interview, is more of what we might have expected of an NPR interview with a filmmaker who, allegations aside, has made his mark in cinematic history for many decades going all the way back to the 1970s.
But the questions and the speculations will continue to follow him. Already, Vanity Fair, which famously published the often-quoted Maureen Orth article, “10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegations” had done some cross-comparisons, noting that at the time, Soon-Yi Previn had said of Woody Allen in a Time magazine interview, “To think that Woody was in any way a father or stepfather to me is laughable.”
As always, more questions are raised than answered, and speculation instead of dying down, is invigorated all over again. The now decades-long scandal looms as Woody Allen’s latest movie, Irrational Man, hits theaters, even as the seemingly improbable relationship and now marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, in the headlines again, continues.
Photos: Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn
Credit: PR Photos
(Click twice to enlarge)