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Saturday, April 3, 1999 Published at 01:15 GMT 02:15 UK


Woody rejects Parky's 'morbid' questions

Woody Allen: Out of therapy and trying to keep busy

US director and comedy actor Woody Allen accused the BBC's Michael Parkinson of having a "morbid interest" in his private life during his first UK talk show interview in over 35 years.

Allen: "I feel that you have a morbid interest in this. Why?"
Although Mr Allen openly discussed his marriage with Soon-Yi, the 28-year-old adopted daughter of his former partner Mia Farrow, he did not wish to discuss other aspects of his private life.

He raised an objection to Mr Parkinson's questions on the custody battle for his two children.

But Mr Parkinson deflected Mr Allen's challenge to his questioning by saying the custody case had created huge public interest.

He said the interview offered the director the chance to voice his side of the issue, but Mr Allen refused.

He said he was "resigned" to public misconception about the whole incident.

[ image: Parkinson: Defended his line of questioning]
Parkinson: Defended his line of questioning
After the interview Mr Allen reportedly asked for all references to his love affair with Soon-Yi to be edited out of the 50 minute programme.

But the BBC denies that Mr Allen made any such request and stresses that all editorial control for the programme rests solely with its producers.

Mr Allen's affair with his stepdaughter led to the high-profile breakdown of his relationship with Mia Farrow - which Mr Allen spoke of with regret.

"My relationship, yes, it is very, very sad. It's a very sad outcome," he said. "But I gave it my best shot. You know, there is nothing I can do about that."

'I've been very lucky'

Famous for his New York intellectualism, Mr Allen has long been lampooned for his neuroses and visits to the psychiatrist. But he has now admitted he is no longer in therapy, which he attributes to Soon-Yi.

"I've been very lucky and I happen to have a very happy marriage. I've been married now for a year and been living with Soon-Yi for five years and it's been the delight of my life.

"So for the last few years I have not had the same level of anxiety or the same level of depression. The wonderful thing for me has been getting married and having a wonderful life."

'It's hard to like your own movies'

The latest of Mr Allen's films, Celebrity, stars Kenneth Branagh, Leonardo DiCaprio and Melanie Griffith. But even though he is immensely respected as a director he still has no confidence in his own work.

"It's hard to like your own movies. I see only the problems. When I see the clip I see only what I could have done better and what I should have written better," he said.

"When it's finished I never really get a great feeling about it. I get the feeling I never want to see it again. I always screw up."

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