Woody Allen talks candidly about 'paternal' relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn
Woody Allen has long faced criticism regarding his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, 44, who was the adopted daughter of his former flame Mia Farrow. The 79-year-old filmmaker has rarely spoken about his relationship with Previn, who became his third wife when they tied the knot in 1997.
However, the five-time Oscar-winner did open up about his marriage during an interview with NPR about his extensive career.
Allen, who is promoting his upcoming dramedy Irrational Man, was asked about the themes of fading love in his Oscar-winning 1977 romantic comedy Annie Hall. Allen shared, "Relationships are the most difficult thing people deal with."
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"They deal with loneliness, meeting people, sustaining relationships. You always hear from people, 'Well, if you want to have a good relationship you have to work at it.' But there's nothing else in your life that you really love and enjoy that you have to work at," Allen elaborated. "I love music, but I don't have to work at it... If you feel that you have to work at it — a constant business of looking the other way, sweeping stuff under the rug, compromising — it's not working."
When asked about his current marriage, Allen explained that, despite their age difference, it's happened to work out.
"I lucked out in my last relationship. I've been married now for 20 years, and it's been good," Allen said. "I'm 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. 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. It was just a good-luck thing."
Allen went on to explain how things began with Previn, who was 27 when they got married, saying that, at first, he thought their relationship "would just be a fling."
"But it had a life of its own," Allen recalled. "We started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. And the age difference didn't seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor, actually. She enjoyed being introduced to many, many things that I knew from experience, and I enjoyed showing her those things."
Allen also briefly addressed the allegations leveled against him last year claiming he sexually abused his step-daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child.
Allen spoke about the effect the high-profile allegations had on his fan base and the audiences for his films.
"I always had a small audience. People did not come in great abundance, and they still don't, and I've maintained the same audience over the years," Allen, who has strongly denied the allegations and was never charged, explained. "If the reviews are bad, they don't come. If the reviews are good, they probably come."