There was a time in Hollywood when working with Woody Allen was considered a jewel in the crown of acting royalty. Going from King of the Funnymen with films like Bananas and Love and Death, to the ultimate cinematic relationship guru during his Annie Hall and Manhattan period, to the more recent European comedy romps like Midnight in Paris and To Rome with Love, actors clamored to be in one of his movies.
It wasn’t for the money – Woody Allen films don’t exactly break box office records the way Star Wars or Black Panther do. Rather, it was a badge of honor as a working thespian to be invited to be part of the master’s cast. But now, that honor has become shame as Allen’s own son, Ronan Farrow, helped usher in the #MeToo era with his reporting on the notorious harassment history of Harvey Weinstein, which has now evolved into #TimesUp.
The wave of brave women coming forward resuscitated the allegations of Dylan Farrow – Allen's daughter – who reports being abused by Allen. Though Allen and his team have vehemently denied these allegations for years, though Dylan has the support of her mother, Mia Farrow. Now, a whole slew of Hollywood A-listers have expressed regret at being involved in Allen's movies.
Here are 15 Stars Who Regret Working With Woody Allen.
15 Colin Firth
Anyone who loves a good comic book movie must be a huge fan of Colin Firth’s turns in the Kingsman movies. He convincingly portrays the ultimate gentleman spy , from uncanny fighting skills to a high tolerance for being in the presence of some very unusual personalities. But in real life, Firth apparently can no longer stomach being in the company of former boss Woody Allen.
After working with the director in the 2014 film Magic in the Moonlight, he’s apparently had quite enough. He was asked directly by an interviewer about any future collaborations with the accused auteur. His response? “I wouldn’t work with him again.” That’s exactly the kind of punch to the gut we would expect from his character Harry Hart!
14 Ellen Page
If life ever really imitated art, Woody Allen might have a lot to fear from Ellen Page. After all, her groundbreaking performance in the revenge thriller Hard Candy won't leave our minds to this day! If you combine that rage with her role as Kitty Pride in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Page is certainly an actress to respect and fear!
But her real-life courage remains the same as either role. She is done with Allen. Of her work with on his 2012 movie To Rome with Love, she spelled it out in a long Facebook post: “I am ashamed I did this,” Page wrote. “I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because ‘of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.’ Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice.”
She also called the role "the biggest regret of [her] career."
13 Natalie Portman
Ever since her first feature film appearance in Léon: The Professional, Natalie Portman has been a hero for the larger world of geekdom. A natural on-screen heroine, she grew into more regal roles such as Padmé Amidala in the first three episodes of the Star Wars franchise, to superhero films like Thor.
Having starred at a young age in Woody Allen’s Everybody Says I Love You, she now wishes she could take it back. Stating clearly in an Oprah Winfrey-moderated panel on #MeToo, Portman said: “I would want to say that: ‘I believe you, Dylan.'” meaning that she believes Dylan Farrow’s accusations against Allen, and in the context of #metoo, that it reads as a repudiation of the director’s denials. It’s not likely she looks back at her time in Allen’s world with fondness.
12 Timotheé Chalamet
Young up-and-coming actor Timotheé Chalamet has already had an impressive slew of roles in big Hollywood movies. Sci-fi fans will recall his role as the young Tom Cooper in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. At the young age of 21, he's already earned an Oscar nomination for his leading role in Call Me By Your Name and his appearance in the Oscar darling Ladybird is only elevating career. But he sure wished he wasn’t part of Woody Allen’s 2018 film A Rainy Day in New York.
As he explains on an Instagram post: “I am learning that a good role isn’t the only criteria for accepting a job — that has become much clearer to me in the past few months, having witnessed the birth of a powerful movement intent on ending injustice, inequality and above all, silence. I want to be worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the brave artists who are fighting for all people to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.” He's also giving his profits from the film to Time's Up.
11 Hayley Atwell
Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will recognize Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter from Captain America, Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and her own self-titled TV show. She also once starred in Woody Allen’s 2007 movie, Cassandra’s Dream. But don’t expect her to work in any others.
As she stated: “Would I work with him now? No. And I stand in solidarity with his daughter and offer an apology to her if my contribution to his work has caused her suffering or made her feel dismissed in any way. It’s exciting that I can say this now and I’m not going to be blacklisted.” Her openness and honesty is definitely the sort of thing we've come to expect from Peggy Carter.
10 Evan Rachel Wood
In the HBO series Westworld, actress Evan Rachel Wood portrays an android “host” who suffers repeated assaults by the evil Man in Black. It’s a gut-wrenching fate which makes for hard viewing of the highly violent television show. Wood has also reported her own history with being assaulted herself.
Having worked with Woody Allen in the 2009 film Whatever Works, she now deeply regrets having done so. Asked about her time collaborating with the fallen-from-grace filmmaker, she said on Twitter, “That was years before I read Dylan's letter. Unfortunately, I can't say that I would again.”
Sounds like she’s seeing that past as being part of a former life she doesn’t want to associate with anymore. This, again, weirdly echoes central themes in Westworld. Life imitates art in the worst ways, sometimes.
9 Greta Gerwig
In the world of strong Hollywood women, Greta Gerwig is helping to pave a newer, stronger path. Her directorial debut for the film Lady Bird earned her the fifth Best Director nomination ever for a woman at the Oscars and won her Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards. But she’s less proud of working with Woody Allen in To Rome with Love.
“If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again,” Gerwig said. “Dylan Farrow… made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization.” We are confident that moving forward, Gerwig will be more than making up for her regrets.
8 Rebecca Hall
Rebecca Hall has been climbing up the acting charts with an ever-more impressive roster of roles in big movies. Superhero fans loved her turn as Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3. Her connection to the genre was amplified with her work in the Wonder Woman creator biopic Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. But she is feeling less than wonderful about appearing in the 2018 Woody Allen film A Rainy Day in New York. I
n a lengthy Instagram post, she stated, “…I am profoundly sorry. I regret this decision and wouldn’t make the same one today.” She adds: “It’s a small gesture and not one intended as close to compensation but I’ve donated my wage to @timesup.”
To be fair, Allen gave her an early career opportunity with a role in Vicky Christina Barcelona. It’s not easy turning one’s back on an old benefactor, but Hall found her inner Amazon and stood up for what she believed in.
7 Chloë Sevigny
It’s not like veteran actress Chloë Sevigny hasn’t found herself in some very controversial roles. From her first appearance in the sometimes shocking film Kids, which depicted street culture in very stark terms, to an infamous scene in The Brown Bunny which was way too adult, Sevigny has a very edgy resume. And yet, another regret of her career, in fact, be working with Woody Allen in his 2004 movie Melinda and Melinda.
As stated, it’s not like this daring actress hasn’t been in the hot seat before. But there’s a line between fiction and fact. The reality of Allen’s alleged actions became too much for her. In her own words: “I have my own turmoil that I’m grappling with over that decision. Would I work with him again? Probably not.”
6 Peter Sarsgaard
We’ve finally found an answer to one of geekdom’s most pressing questions: what could an actor with such a long and great career as Peter Sarsgaard regret more than appearing in Green Lantern? Working for Woody Allen, apparently! All kidding aside, the actor, like many in his field, had to take a long look in the mirror as the #MeToo wave rose beyond the high-water mark of plausible deniability.
In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, he made his feelings plain. As is seen in this video clip at about 1:41, Todd presses Sarsgaard on working with Allen. Sarsgasrd: “I’ve already done a Woody Allen movie.” Chuck Todd: “But would you do another?” Sarsgaard: “No.” And with that one word, he has told the world, he is not happy about his past association with the director and there shall be no others.
5 Mira Sorvino
If there’s any actress on this list who can understand how the women of #MeToo have suffered, Mira Sorvino might be at the top of the list. After all, she’s one of the heroines who stepped forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of harassment. This led her father, Goodfellas tough guy Paul Sorvino, to publicly threaten the ex-movie mogul’s life! N
ow that she has come forward, Mira is also apologetic to Woody Allen’s daughter for her association with the director in 1995’s Mighty Aphrodite in a heartfelt Huffington Post piece. “I am so sorry, Dylan. I cannot begin to imagine how you have felt, all these years as you watched someone you called out as having hurt you as a child, a vulnerable little girl in his care, be lauded again and again, including by me and countless others in Hollywood who praised him and ignored you.” It’s a painful lament, but also a brave one.
4 David Krumholtz
Well, tell us how you really feel, David! Unlike many other actors distancing themselves from Woody Allen, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle actor David Krumholtz doesn’t hold back from unabashedly putting the infamous director in his past.
In his own words via Twitter: “I deeply regret working with Woody Allen on [the 2017 film] Wonder Wheel. It's one of my most heartbreaking mistakes. We can no longer let these men represent us in entertainment, politics, or any other realm. They are beneath real men.”
With women leading the way in the #TimesUp movement, it’s heartening to hear a man seeking to redefine the role of his own gender. Krumholtz reminds us we are all in this together.
3 Griffin Newman
There’s a lot of pain going on in the soul-searching former Woody Allen collaborators are putting themselves through. While they are one and all brave, The Tick actor Griffin Newman goes further than most in calling himself out for his choices.
In a long series of Tweets, he pulls no punches in his self-reflection, stating: “I need to get this off my chest: I worked on Woody Allen’s next movie [2018’s A Rainy Day in New York]. I believe he is guilty. I donated my entire salary to RAINN. It’s a one scene role. I spent a month debating whether or not to quit. I deeply regret my final decision.” And he goes on from there: “Why didn’t I quit? My parents were incredibly proud. I felt there [were] things to be gained from the experience on that set. I was a coward.”
That’s not the kind of admission one hears from celebrities often. Kudos to Newman.
2 Rachel Brosnahan
While most of the actors on this list are known for working on Woody Allen movies, Rachel Brosnahan played a role on the director’s poorly-received Amazon Original series Crisis in Six Scenes. While she had mixed feelings about the gig, the House of Cards actress knows where she stands on any future collaborations with Mr. Allen in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Look, I had a great experience working on that project. Honestly, it’s the decision that I have made in my life that is the most inconsistent with everything I stand for and believe in, both publicly and privately. And while I can’t take it back, it’s important to me, moving forward, to make decisions that better reflect the things that I value and my worldview.”
Just goes to show: it’s never too late to learn from our mistakes.
1 Mia Farrow
In the whole media and awareness storm surrounding the infamy of Woody Allen’s alleged actions, the one name which seems to be left out too often is Mia Farrow. Besides starring in several of Allen’s films, the two were a couple for over a decade. They raised children together, mostly adopted – with one of Mia's daughters, Soon-Yi Previn, eventually becoming Allen’s wife.
This deep betrayal is almost unfathomable to contemplate. When the stories about Dylan Farrow came to light, the pain must have been unbearable for the family. Mia has been on a public crusade against Woody longer than anyone, and for obvious reasons.
It can be safely said that nobody in the world regrets working for Mr. Allen than she does. When thinking about #MeToo and #TimesUp, it may be worth giving Ms. Farrow more than a little consideration.
Who do you think will speak out next? Share your thoughts in the comments.