Arts & Entertainment

Woody Allen: I’m waiting for life to return to where it was

By Magdalena Tsanis

Madrid, Sep 29 (efe-epa).- Woody Allen says he spends most of his time during lockdown wandering around his home waiting for better times.

The director was due to present his latest work, Rifkin’s Festival, at the 68th San Sebastian film festival in Spain but this was canceled due to the pandemic.

He says in a video interview with Efe from his home in New York: “I’m waiting for life to return to where it was, I hope it does in my lifetime.”

Allen, who has a history of playing hypochondriacs, confesses he has not reacted well to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“It’s difficult, it’s very difficult for many reasons: first of all I’m a coward so I’m afraid of getting the virus so I’ve been locked in my house for months and it’s terrible,” he says.

“My wife and I at first we didn’t go out at all, in March and April we didn’t go out at all, then we started going out for little walks maybe for one hour, one half hour but the walks were no fun because all the stores were closed, all the restaurants were closed, everyone you saw in the street had masks on.

“And you were scared you would bump into somebody, you were always looking over your shoulder, are there going to be people too close to you and there was nothing to do, you couldn’t go into a store and get a coffee or a drink, everything was dead.”

He adds that the situation has improved considerably in his city: “New Yorkers did a very good job of eliminating the virus in New York City and now the virus is less than one percent in New York so you can walk around New York, you have to wear a mask and still be careful but it’s much, much better.

“But still it’s not the same thing so I’m waiting for life to return to where it was, I hope it does in my lifetime.”

The contagion has interrupted the rhythm of Allen’s work, who usually releases one film a year.

He planned to shoot this summer in Paris, a script that is still on hold, along with a Broadway play that has been delayed due to theatre closures.

“So I wander around my house, I’m very meticulous, I shave every day and shower, I do my exercises, I practice my clarinet but most of the time I wander through the house,” he says.

“I read a little, then I turn on the television set, then I turn it off and then I walk on the treadmill and exercise.

“But I haven’t written very much because I have my scripts ready to go.”

Asked about a recent change in rules at the Oscars aimed at increasing inclusion and diversity on screen, Allen says he applauds the goal but that it is a “very difficult” way of achieving it.

“It’s hard to tell people you have to cast a film a certain way or you have to write a film a certain way, you can’t do this to artists and force them to do things,” he says.

He adds: “When I’m writing a script I’m not thinking am I getting the right amount of diversity, am I saying the right message, I’m writing from my heart and from my instincts and it’s very, very hard to do that.” EFE-EPA


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