Belfast Telegraph

Woody Allen: Soon-Yi age gap works

Woody Allen has discussed why his marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, 35 years his junior, has lasted.

The 79-year-old director has been married to Soon-Yi, 44, since 1997. Their relationship has always been the subject of much speculation because Soon-Yi is the adoptive daughter of Woody's ex-partner Mia Farrow, with Mia claiming their relationship ended when she found nude photographs of Soon-Yi, which Woody had taken.

The way the pair got together, as well as their age gap, has caused a lot of gossip, with Woody now discussing why their union works.

"I lucked out in my last relationship. I've been married now for 20 years and it's been good. I think that was probably the odd factor that I'm so much older than the girl I married. 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," he told NPR's Sam Fragoso. "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."

Initially, the filmmaker thought the relationship was "ridiculous" and didn't believe it would have any longevity. He saw it as a "fling" but the longer it went on, Woody began to see how well suited he and Soon-Yi are.

"It had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more," he said. "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 favour actually."

Woody also spoke about the molestation accusations made by Dylan Farrow, his adopted daughter with Mia. In 1993 Mia won custody of Dylan during a bitter row which saw the director accused of abusing the girl - he has always denied the allegations. Last year Dylan penned an open letter detailing alleged incidents of the abuse, with Woody's lawyer Elkan Abramowitz suggesting the "idea that she was molested was implanted in her by her mother" during an appearance on NBC's Today show.

Although Woody didn't go into detail while talking to NPR, he did insist that the allegations haven't hurt him professionally.

"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. If the reviews are bad, they don't come. If the reviews are good, they probably come," he said, before being asked if he truly believes people don't carry "that external baggage" with them when they watch his movies.

"Not for a second. 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. 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."

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From Belfast Telegraph