Director/writer/actor Woody Allen made a rare Chicago appearance at the premiere of his latest film, "Cafe Society," hosted by Metropolitan Capital at the Chicago History Museum on July 21. It was the second time I had the honor of interviewing Woody and he was even nicer than the first time when he was here on July 29, 2015, for the premiere of his film "Irrational Man." Sightings of Allen are rarer than hen's teeth in Chicago so I knew full well how lucky I was to speak with him again.
I'm guessing that, due to his relationship with Chicago venture capitalist Ron L. Chez, he enjoys making stops in Chicago--lucky us! Chez has a contract to finance four of Allen's films and this is their third collaboration.
Woody ambled onto the red carpet with such a low profile that, when I finally looked up after interviewing Chez, there he was, wisely dressed in khakis and a white shirt due to our recent heat wave, with his adoring wife Soon-Yi right behind him, as always. (They have been married for 19 years).
Waiters holding trays of wine and sparkling water greeted guests. Light hors d'oeuvres were passed as the press gathered on the red carpet awaiting the genius writer/director/actor. All around the massive room flooded with sunlight from over-sized windows were film posters, all signed by Allen! If I could've fit one in my purse, I would have.
Besides Woody, red carpet guests included Chez and Michael Rose, the chairman/CEO of Metropolitan Capital Bancorp. Chez is quite a character with a personality as big as all outdoors. His philanthropic work is almost as impressive as his film collaborations. He usually has a cameo in Allen's films, but was cut out of this one after spending hours dressing in vintage clothes. He called it, "indicative of his (Woody's) failure as a director." It's clear, he and Allen have a mutual admiration and respect for one another and love playing pranks.
In the following clip, Woody talks about his favorite part of making this film (his 47th), where he would shoot in Chicago, what he thinks about Scarlett Johansson and more. The movie, starring Jesse Eisenberg (who channels Woody to perfection) and Kristin Stewart, was poignant, beautifully filmed by Vittorio Storaro and made you nostalgic for days gone by.
Videographer: Kayla Pouliot/ Photographer Kayla Cantu/Editor Kes Akalaonu
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Filed under: Entertainment
Tags: Amazon Studios, Athena Chez, Cafe Society, Chicago History Museum, Irrational Man, Jesse Eisenberg, Kayla Cantu, Kayla Pouliot, Kes Akalaonu, Kristin Stewart, Margie Korshak, Metropolitan Capital, Michael Rose, Mila Samokhina, Ron Chez, Ron L. Chez, Vittorio Storaro, Woody Allen