Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Woody Allen: Quintessential New Yorker Doesn’t Like Bagels, Won’t Eat Hot Dogs or Deli Food


I don’t often get to plug myself but here goes. This week’s New York Observer carries a cover story written by yours truly, an exclusive interview with four time Oscar winner– and multiple nominee– Woody Allen. Observer editor Ken Kurson asked me to interview Woody and the great writer-director obliged, with no limitations. I was particularly interested in what Woody’s life is like now with two teenage daughters, ages 15 and 14, and wife Soon Yi. (For the Mia Farrow story, you can Google the whole ordeal til the cows come home.)

Most enlightening was Woody, at 78, with two kids in the house on iPhones. They listen to Katy Perry, Rihanna, and “something called One Direction,” he told me. Woody himself has an iPhone on which his assistant has downloaded 120 great jazz songs. Otherwise, the phone is used just for calls. He doesn’t go on the internet, doesn’t email, and has only just learned to text courtesy of his “Magic in the Moonlight” star Emma Stone.

A fun part of the interview was Woody explaining to me how he makes the best chocolate malteds ever, even “they’ll kill you.” And guess what? The quintessential New Yorker doesn’t like bagels, hasn’t had a hot dog in 15 years or a corned beef sandwich in 25 years. That’s why, he says, he still weighs the same as he did in 1969. In fact, he’s constantly trying to gain weight and drinks two beers a day to that end!

I was also interested in talking to Woody about his movies. He’s made 45 features since 1977. Many of them are considered classics. I asked him to pick his favorites. You’ll see the list. He doesn’t include Manhattan, one of his greats. And he’s hesitant to include Annie Hall, his Oscar winner. He does talk about all his cinematographers, and praises Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine.”

Anyway, it’s Woody in a rare moment of quiet and introspection.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News