Does Woody have plans to film in Chicago? What actress is still on his wish list? How's that Amazon series going? Woody answers these questions and more in this, my once in a lifetime opportunity, something I could cross off my bucket list--an interview with the legendary film director/actor/writer Woody Allen!
I couldn't believe my good fortune when I received an email requesting Red Carpet coverage for Allen's film premiere of "Irrational Man" on Saturday afternoon, July 18. The Red Carpet and pre-screening reception of "Irrational Man,"Allen's 47th film he wrote and directed, took place at Bellwether, 302 E. Illinois, which was right next to the AMC River East Cinema.
The restaurant was closed to the public for this big event and the room was packed with friends and fans. I staked out my space on the Carpet with my cameraman and recent Illinois Center for Broadcasting grad Jennifer Wright.
The expected stars on the Carpet included the man himself Woody Allen, actress Parker Posey, Ron Chez (the executive producer) and Michael Rose (chairman/CEO Metropolitan Capital Bancorp. As soon as the long black limo pulled up out front, chaos erupted. Cameras started flashing, Iphones were ripped out of pockets and the crowd surge was HUGE--that's when I got nervous.
Even though I was prepared, I had asked film expert/friend Michael Kutza (founder Chicago International Film Festival) for some direction as far as good questions, I was still nervous. And, sure enough, as soon as Allen stood in front of me, my notes became a thing of the past. Fortunately, I had read enough to know what I wanted/needed to ask so, per Michael's advice, I just "relaxed and enjoyed the ride."
Woody couldn't have been a more gracious interview. He was warm, open, anxious to talk, animated and very generous with his answers. I was so thrilled as I admired his work so much and I didn't want to have to change my opinion of him.
Allen's wife, Soon-Yi, accompanied him on the Red Carpet and looked tres chic in a short green cocktail dress with a shiny, silver clutch and high, silver heels. She most definitely didn't want to be in the spotlight, most times hiding behind various attendants.
I spoke to Parker Posey, too, who will appear in Woody's next film. She said the entire interview process took 3 minutes. Ron Chez, executive producer, told me he's trying to get Woody to make his next film in Chicago. Fingers crossed he can make that happen.
We loved "Irrational Man", the story about a tormented philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix), who finds a will to live when he commits an existential act. The twist near the end was a real surprise and very clever!
Good luck to Woody and thanks for making Chicago one of only TWO stops you made to promote this film! (He also made a Red Carpet appearance in LA).
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