Let’s let Allen explain, as he did during a recent L.A. press conference to promote his latest, the sexy “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
“I had Kate Winslet for (the lead actress in) ‘Match Point,’ until the last week in pre-production, when she said she couldn’t do the picture, because she had worked continually and had spent no time with her child,” Allen began.
“Kate asked would I forgive her and, of course, I understood that completely, and I didn’t know Scarlett from a hole in the wall. I thought she was too young to play the part. She was only 19 years old at the time. I was in a hole, I had to get somebody fairly quickly, and I knew that Scarlett was a great actress and a beauty. I didn’t know if she was really what I had written, but I hired her and became totally captivated by her."
“I thought she could simply do anything,” Allen continued. “She was not only beautiful but also bright, amusing, charming, and gifted. I’m very happy to work with her. Whenever there is a part that fits anything she could do, I would always call her and hope that she would be available for it, just as I did with (Diane) Keaton for years.
“I did that with Mia (Farrow), too. I did many roles with her, thought she was a wonderful actress, and she never let me down. I think that the same will be true with Scarlett.”
Now, even though Allen’s cameras undoubtedly caress the young star in three different films, including “Scoop,” no one should suggest that the 72-year-old writer/director and Johansson, 23, have anything but movies going on.
I'd be hard-pressed to find any comparison between myself and any of the three characters I played for Woody,” Johansson said in a separate interview. “The way he writes such fantastic female roles is the best thing about working with him, that is, other than just getting to spend every day you know, chatting with him and bothering him and poking him and stuff like that.”
“Sure, why not? Got to make sure he's still, like, awake,” Johansson said with a big chuckle. “And, please! Don’t call me his muse!
“Every single interview I’ve ever done for any of his movies, we always get the muse thing. It's not that way, and I don't think it is that way,” Johansson concluded. “I just think I'm fortunate enough to fit in to the young girl, young woman part of his stories, just the same as Judy Davis would fit in to a certain part or Dianne Wiest would fit into a certain part."
“I think you know that Woody and I both appreciate how wonderful it is to work with your friends. It's just fun. We always have a great time when we do it. We entertain each other, we understand each other and, yes, we poke each other.”
John M. Urbancich
**Read more articles by John Urbancich**