14 January 2009

Woody Allen's Film-making 101

An extract from Woody Allen's diary from the filming of Vicky Cristina Barcelona in Spain, with Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall:

3 August

I suppose it comes with the territory. As director, one is part teacher, part shrink, part father figure, part guru. Is it any wonder then that, as the weeks have passed, Scarlett and Penélope have both developed crushes on me? The fragile female heart. I notice poor Javier looking on enviously as the actresses bed me with their eyes, but I've explained to the boy that unbridled feminine desire for a cinema icon, particularly one who wears a sneer of cold command, is to be expected.

Meanwhile, when I approach the set, each morning bathed and freshly scented, between Scarlett and Penélope there is a virtual feeding frenzy. I never like mixing business with pleasure, but I may have to slake the lust of each one in turn to get the film completed. Perhaps I can give Penélope Wednesdays and Fridays, satisfying Scarlett Tuesdays and Thursdays. Like alternate-side parking. That would leave Monday free for Rebecca, whom I stopped just in time from tattooing my name on her thigh. I'll have a drink with the ladies in the cast after filming and set some ground rules. Maybe the old system of ration coupons could work.

10 August

Directed Javier in emotional scene today. Had to give him line readings. As long as he imitates me, he's fine. The minute he tries his own acting choices, he's lost. Then he weeps and wonders how he'll survive when I'm no longer his director. I explained politely but firmly that he must do the best he can without me and to try to remember the tips I've given him. I know he was cheered because when I left his trailer, he and his friends were howling with laughter.

20 August

Made love with Scarlett and Penélope simultaneously in an effort to keep them happy. Ménage gave me great idea for the climax of the movie. Rebecca kept pounding on the door, and I finally let her in, but those Spanish beds are too small to handle four, and when she joined, I kept getting bounced to the floor.

- Guardian, 12 January 2009

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