Today Woody Allen turns 77! In honor of the famous director, writer, and actor's birthday, we're looking back at his many flicks about love — both lost and found. Woody's personal life has garnered negative headlines, and on screen, the prolific director is known for tackling the complications of relationships from illicit sex to innocent romance to infidelity. We've rounded up some of Woody's funniest and most thought-provoking lines on sex, love, and everything in between from the movies he's written, directed, and, at times, starred in.
To Rome With Love, Woody Allen's latest love letter to an iconic European city, travels to theaters today. Following Midnight in Paris, his most commercially successful project yet, Woody's back acting in To Rome With Love, this time alongside a long list of actresses, including Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, and Ellen Page. Talented as the famed, though controversial, director may be, where would Woody be without the women who make his films come alive? While not all actresses reach the musing heights of Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton, or Dianne Wiest, we're going to take a loose interpretation of "muse" and look at the many women he's perfectly cast.
Woody Allen has made over 40 films, and he's adding to that impressive list with this week's To Rome With Love. As the title suggests, the film takes place in Italy, and setting his movies in European cities seems to be Allen's latest trend. He's not only partial to crossing the pond, though: check out five cities that have provided the perfect backdrop for Allen's movies.
Penelope Cruz wore Emilio Pucci to join her To Rome With Love costars last night in NYC for a screening at the Paris Theatre in honor of their film's release tomorrow. She linked up with costars Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig, and director Woody Allen for the premiere. Alec made the rounds with fiancée Hilaria Thomas on his arm, while Woody Allen fan Jon Hamm stepped out with his girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt. Penelope, though, skipped out on the star-studded afterparty held at Casa Lever. Chris Rock came out for the celebration, and caught up with John Legend.
Woody's latest picture is out tomorrow, but so far, early To Rome With Love reviews are mixed. It's his and Penelope's second project together after 2008's Vicky Cristina Barcelona — do you plan on seeing this one? Penelope was thrilled to pair up with Woody again, saying at a press conference Tuesday, "I find him so fascinating. He's so unique. I'm lucky that I get to be directed by somebody that I admire so much, and I am lucky I get to hang out with him."
The cast of To Rome With Love was in NYC Tuesday to chat about their new Woody Allen-directed comedy, which hits theaters in the US tomorrow. Penélope Cruz headed up a roster of actors including Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig, and Italian star Alessandra Mastronardi to chat about the project at the Loews Regency Hotel. Woody spoke about his movie-making and writing process, but it turned out that he was the topic of most of the discussion. Penélope, Alec, Woody, and Greta all spoke about the privilege of working with Woody, calling themselves "nervous" and "lucky" to even be there. Here are highlights from their press conference:
- Penélope on shooting in Rome: "I loved working there, and I am a huge fan of Italian cinema. There are things about [her character] Anna that I thought about in the back of my head, but she is also a character that has no filter with her brain, and she says everything she feels. It's so refreshing to play somebody like that, and it was refreshing and beautiful to be with Woody in homage to Italian cinema."
- Alec on working with Woody: "With Woody Allen, you have someone who is responsible for more memorable moments on every level of writing, producing, directing, and acting than any other person who has lived in film, really. You think about the countless, countless dozens of films — and even Woody Allen's less successful efforts are better than most other films you see. Then you see the greatest films he's made, and they are some of the greatest films ever made. So when he calls you and asks you to come and do this with him, if you're available, you go. You want to hitch a ride on this and be a part of them, because this is a guy who is just on an island of his own in terms of filmmaking."
- Penélope on trying to keep Woody's career in perspective: "I was trying to look at him and forget all the admiration, all of the respect, and all of the beautiful moments that I had experienced through his work. Because if you don't put that aside and focus on what you have to do, I would be starstruck the whole time. It still happens to me when I am with him. I find him so fascinating. He's so unique. I'm lucky that I get to be directed by somebody that I admire so much, and I am lucky I get to hang out with him, that I get to spend time with him, that I get to hear him speak. He makes me laugh all day long, so I feel really lucky that I get this time with him."
To read more from the cast and Woody on the movie, just read more
Penélope Cruz linked up with her To Rome With Love costars yesterday for a press conference in NYC. Along with Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig, and Alec Baldwin, Penélope discussed what it's like working with a director like Woody Allen. Woody himself was in on the fun, along with the other leading lady from the film, Alessandra Mastronardi. Rome is the latest city to get Woody Allen's attention, after he's focused on international hot spots like Barcelona, Paris, and London in recent years. His original inspiration was, of course, the Big Apple. Woody's next project will bring him home to the US, at least, as he's planning to do much of the shooting of his next project — which stars Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, and Alec — in San Francisco. Penélope's upcoming project, meanwhile, will be Ridley Scott's The Counselor.
Penelope Cruz wore Michael Kors to join her To Rome With Love costars last night for a screening of their movie during Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival at LA Live. Joining Penelope for pictures were Simona Caparrini, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alison Pill, Greta Gerwig, and, of course, their director Woody Allen. The ensemble cast is getting into high promotional mode before the picture's release in the US next Friday on June 22. Penelope jetted to California after a stint in her home country of Spain, where she spent time with husband Javier Bardem and their son, Leo. Javier's coming up on his second Father's Day Sunday, and before the holiday, we're celebrating 100 famous dads.
Penelope Cruz joined her To Rome With Love director Woody Allen for their first photocall this morning. The duo popped up, appropriately, in Rome for their a.m. press duties alongside Penelope's costars Roberto Begnini, Alec Baldwin, and Jesse Eisenberg. Alec brought along his brand-new fiancé for the trip. She tweeted yesterday, "I love Roma." Jesse, meanwhile, showed off an interesting new look, with a layered, straightened hairdo — what do you think of Jesse's updated style? Penelope, Woody, and the gang have many more interview stops to make before the film is out here in the US on June 22. It's out first, though, in Italian theaters next Friday.
Woody Allen has hit home runs with European-set films Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Match Point, and Midnight in Paris, but can he do it again in Italy? We'll have our answer with To Rome With Love, which follows another star-studded cast as their love lives get a little more complicated in — you guessed it — Rome. This time, the lineup includes Jesse Eisenberg as a guy who's seduced by his girlfriend's friend (Ellen Page), Penelope Cruz as an Italian prostitute, and Allen himself wearing some pants that are pulled up very high.
As with Midnight in Paris, it's obvious that the setting is going to be a major character here, which is enough of a reason for me to be enticed by the film. My only gripe is that Page seems a bit miscast as the boyfriend-stealing sexpot, but I can definitely see her and Eisenberg as a match. The movie hits theaters this June, but you can watch the trailer when you read more
>> Get caught up on all of those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
- Did Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani get marred and not tell anyone about it? The magazine's website posted a scan from the Ugandan newspaper Red Pepper, which pictures Sozzani sitting next to oil magnate Charles Mbire. The paper referred to Sozzani as Mbire's wife, but Sozzani said the newspaper had bad intel. "The marital status I prefer is being single," she said. [Vogue Italia]
- Supermodel Elle Macpherson turned 48 today — and she still looks better than most people do at 24. [The Fab Life]
- Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have landed cameo roles in director Woody Allen's new film To Rome With Love, which debuts April 20. Penelope Cruz — the film's lead actress — will wear pieces from the duo's Spring 2012 collection in the film. [The Cut]
- André Leon Talley has been off the airwaves since leaving the judging panel of America's Next Top Model, but soon he'll be back. In a new Bravo reality series — currently titled Fashion Stories of NYC — Tally will supervise competing teams of "emerging designers striving to build a business in New York City, which remains the heart of the fashion industry." [Fashionista]
- Vogue UK Editor Alexandra Shulman has written her first book. Her new novel, Can We Still Be Friends, is about three pals who went to college together in the '80s, and afterward have to deal with what the real world does to their lives and their relationships with one another. [Fashion Etc.]