Woody: I Thought Soon-Yi Would Just Be a Fling
Usually reticent director dishes on wife, insecurities, 'sensible' life in NPR interview
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2015 8:48 AM CDT
Director Woody Allen and wife Soon-Yi Previn attend a special screening of "Irrational Man" at the Museum of Modern Art on July 15, 2015, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – It's weird to be fascinated listening to someone describe a totally boring life. But when that someone is the reclusive Woody Allen, it's easy to get sucked in by details that are usually hard to come by. In an interview with NPR, the 79-year-old director elaborates on his "sensible," "middle-class" lifestyle. "I get up in the morning, I work, I get the kids off [to] school, do the treadmill, play the clarinet, take a walk with my wife," he says. "It's usually the same walk every day." He says he's absolutely never used drugs ("I can barely bring myself to take two Extra Strength Excedrin"), confesses he has no interest in travel, popular music, or technology, and cops to being a creature of habit: "When Elaine's was open in New York, I ate every dinner [there], seven nights a week, for 10 [to] 12 years." He's also upfront about his shortcomings, calling himself "lazy and an imperfectionist," and isn't shy about saying he doesn't like people: "I was one of the few guys rooting for the comet to hit the Earth."

His take on his relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn is similarly candid, with him saying their 35-year age difference is actually a plus. "I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal," he says. "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." Perhaps that's surprising even to Allen, since he admits, "I thought it would just be a fling. … Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it." He also touches on the delicate subject of sexual abuse allegations against him by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, saying he doesn't think that's hurt his box-office draw. "I always had a small audience," he says. "People did not come in great abundance and they still don't. … If the reviews are bad, they don't come. If the reviews are good, they probably come." Read the full interview, which includes his take on death and his upcoming Amazon series.