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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 11:08 GMT
Woody Allen 'older but not wiser'
Woody Allen
Allen said his relationship with Soon-Yi was "more paternal"
Film-maker Woody Allen has told Vanity Fair magazine he has learned little with age as he nears his 70th birthday.

"All the crap they tell you about... getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years - it's all tripe," said Allen, who turns 70 on 1 December.

"I've gained no insight, no mellowing. I would make the same mistakes again."

The director also said he would never make a film as good as Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. "I feel that level of greatness is not in me," he said.

"It may just not be in the genes, or I just don't have the depth of humanity to do that."


In the rare interview, Allen speaks candidly about the 1992 scandal that shattered his relationship with actress Mia Farrow and led to his 1997 marriage to Soon-Yi Previn.

Woody Allen and Soon Yi
The director married Mia Farrow's adopted daughter in 1997
Farrow discovered Allen's affair with her adopted daughter when she found naked photos of Previn in the director's apartment.

The film-maker, speaking of his relationship with Previn, said it was "one of the fortuitous events, one of the great pieces of luck in my life".

"If somebody told me when I was younger, 'You're going to wind up married to a girl 35 years younger than you and a Korean, not in show-business'... I would have said 'You're completely crazy'."

He describes his relationship with Previn, 35, as having "a more paternal feeling to it".


"Whenever there's a disagreement it's never an adversarial thing. I don't ever feel that I'm with a hostile or threatening person.

"She's very self-possessed and she runs the house and our kids and our life."

Allen has two adopted daughters with Previn, Bechet Dumaine and Manzie Tio, and three children with Farrow.

Scarlet Johansson in Match Point
Scarlet Johansson stars in the London-set Match Point
Despite their separation and subsequent custody battles, Allen said he still considered casting Farrow in his 1995 film Mighty Aphrodite.

He attributed this to the "compartmentalisation" that enables him to keep his professional and personal life separate.

"I'm not the kind of person that thinks, 'Well, you did a terrible thing to me in my life, and so I'm not working with you'."

Jazz tour

However, he admitted that there was "a line that you draw. I wouldn't put, you know, Hermann Goering in a part".

Allen's latest film, Match Point, opens in the US on 25 December and in the UK on 6 January.

Shot in London in summer 2004, it stars Scarlett Johansson as a young American who falls for a social-climbing tennis coach, played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.

The director is also taking his jazz band on a European tour, playing their only UK date at the Brighton Centre on 19 December before travelling to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece and Poland.

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