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Woody Allen on Cate Blanchett in 'Blue Jasmine': "You Hire Her and Get Out of the Way"

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood July 15, 2013 at 2:17PM

Woody Allen, whose most recent film -- and arguably his darkest in years -- "Blue Jasmine" hits theaters July 26, sat down with the Los Angeles Times and talked his career regrets, his confusion over the success of certain films and not others, writing motivations, and Cate Blanchett's turn as an emotionally frittered housewife in "Blue Jasmine." Highlights from the interview below.
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Woody Allen
Woody Allen

Woody Allen, whose most recent film -- and arguably his darkest in years -- "Blue Jasmine" hits theaters July 26, sat down with the Los Angeles Times and talked his career regrets, his confusion over the success of certain films and not others, writing motivations, and Cate Blanchett's turn as an emotionally frittered housewife in "Blue Jasmine." Highlights from the interview below.

The trailer for "Blue Jasmine" is here.

Allen on regrets:

"I would say, I've lived 77 years now, and there have been things in my life that I regret that if I could do over, I would do different. Many things that I think with the perspective of having done them and having time that I would do differently. Maybe even choice of profession. Many things… And I never trust people who say, 'I have no regrets. If I lived my life again, I'd do it exactly the same way.' I wouldn't."

On his bafflement about the success of "Midnight in Paris":

"I don't know why [audiences, awards] like one and not another. If I could figure it out, I might be able to get rich."

On his priority to entertain over making social/psychological statements:

"I'm thinking of entertaining. That I feel is my first obligation. Then, if you can also say something, make a statement or elucidate a character or create emotions in people where they're sad or laughing, that's all extra. But to make a social point or a psychological point without being entertaining is homework. That's lecturing."

On Cate Blanchett, who plays the eponymous lead of "Blue Jasmine":

"I mean, she's Cate Blanchett, what can you do? You hire her and get out of the way."

This article is related to: Interviews, Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, Woody Allen


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.