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July 24, 1987 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

About to check into a midtown Manhattan hotel, Woody Allen, in the title role, and Mia Farrow, as Tina Vitale,
argue in a scene from "Broadway Danny Rose," released in 1984.

and his work and been good for him. He
sees nothing inconsistent in having cast
Farrow as a sqeaky-voiced bimbo in Radio
Days, either: "I don't think there's any-
thing antifeminist in that."
Woody Allen has such a high heterosex-
ual profile that homosexuality seems
something unfathomable to him, like a
religion from another galaxy, despite his
classic gag about bisexuality doubling
one's chances for a date on Saturday night.
"I have a high feminine component," he
says, "and • I probably have that high
heterosexual profile because of jokes I've
made over the years. Mia's always kidding
me in our relationship because I grew up
interested in fashions. I grew up cutting
out paper dolls and dressing Deanna Dur-
bin cutouts, and Mia, now in her life, is the
one who, up at her farm, drives the tractor
and knows how to repair the television set
when it breaks. She can do all that stuff.
I'm the one who's always turning to the
fashion page in the newspaper and saying,
`Look at this. Look at what Oscar de la
Renta has come up with:
"You know, my friends are all women,
most of them are women. I mean, I'm not
one of those guys who's at the fights with
the guys and playing poker with the guys.
They're females, my friends. And Mia kids
me about that all the time. She thinks
there's nothing I'd rather do than go out
to lunch and dish with the gals."
Farrow has eight children, five adopted
("Vietnamese, Korean, American, handi-
capped — the full gamut"), and while Allen
says he enjoys them, he is not, unlike
Mickey in, Hannah, eager to father one
himself. "I don't care about heirs. Some

people do very vehemently, but it doesn't
mean anything to me. I like Mia's kids.
They're sweet kids. She's very gifted at
raising kids. And I think she's going to get
more. It's just something that she wants
to do."
He balks at the Eighties mania for pro-
creating. "That I don't like, because I don't
think we should bring more people into the
world at this point. Mia's heart was broken
when she went to adopt these kids and saw
there are just wards of them that need
parents. And there's just this kind of
aimless reproduction. I don't think it's a
gift to bring somebody into this world. I
don't think that's a particularly nice thing
to do. Especially since there are millions of
kids that need families and don't have
them. And so I think that everybody
should stop reproducing for a while and
should adopt all the kids that are loose."
[Reports in recent months say that Mia
and Woody are expecting — her fourth, his
first.]
Mia's full gamut of children do not refer
to Allen as Uncle, he says, nor as Daddy.
"No, they call me Woody, or Max if we're
out on the street, because that's always my
disguise name, from the first time I was
shooting 7hke the Money and Run and
someone would say, 'Oh, that's Woody
Allen!' I've always had people call me Max
on the street because it just never attracts
any attention," even though that's just
what his friend Ibny Roberts calls him on-
screen in Annie Hall.
"I still get away with it," Woody says.
Shying away, abandoning a party to
watch a Knicks game in the bedroom, and
hoping to slink through the city without

being recognized are all part of the Woody
Allen image. If you walk close to the
buildings, there is less chance of being hit
by a grand piano falling from the sky. But
at times it has appeared as if Allen has
been calling more attention to himself by
his elaborate schemes of anonymity, as if
the Invisible Man had taken to wearing red
silk smoking jackets and then grumped
about being noticed. Most notoriously, of
course, has been the whole Rolls-Royce
business, with Woody being chauffered
about Manhattan in a big yellow, or was
it white, Rolls, while claiming to crave
privacy. Woody says it was not big, it was
not yellow, and it was not white.
"It was ivory-colored," he says, as if this
makes an enormous difference. "It was a
small one. I mean, it was not a big one.
Quite small, actually. I don't think you'd
notice it was a Rolls. But much was made
of it because people always associated me
with Greenwich Village and sweaters with
holes in them and things like that. And
I've never been that kind of person. Never.
I never lived in the Village. I always lived
on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I
always ate at good restaurants. When I
went to buy a car I said, 'What's the best
car?' Just automatically. But people
always found that at odds with my image.
They thought, 'This is the guy who's a
regular guy and who wears jeans to formal
dinners and who must live in the Village
someplace.' "
Woody Allen is wearing a sweater today,
a forest-green one, and it does not have a
hole in it. He says he never drove — not
even test-drove — the Rolls himself and, in
fact, hasn't driven a car since the driving
scene in the health food restaurant park-
ing lot in Annie Hall. He expresses his
aversion to cars, or "automobiles," as he
still sometimes calls them, in an ingenuous
way. He says, "I don't find them pretty."
There was that item that had Woody
ordering his driver to let him off a block
away from a destination because he was
ashamed to be seen arriving in the Rolls.
"This is a true item," he says. "That's why
I got rid of the car. I noticed when I would
go someplace and I would pull up, because
it was a Rolls people would look. And that
bothered me. So I would say, 'Pull up a
block away.' And finally I just got rid of
the car because people would look at me.
I either rent a car or take taxis. But not
a Rolls."
So you won't see Woody's Rolls double-
parked in front of that chic dive Elaine's
anymore, though you still might see
Woody parked at a table inside. One near
the back. Where he won't be noticed, ex-
cept that everybody knows that's where he
sits. His standoffishness has turned, in the
public mind, into a kind of advertised
reclusiveness, and this irks him. "I don't
think I'm excessively isolated. Hive in New
York City, and I'm politically aware to a

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

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