'I was paternal - it worked'

Woody Allen, 79, says he lucked out on his third and controversial marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, 44, the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend.
Woody Allen, 79, says he lucked out on his third and controversial marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, 44, the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Acclaimed film director Woody Allen has given a rare interview and made even rarer remarks about his controversial marriage to the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend.

"I'm 35 years older and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked," he told National Public Radio of his wife Soon-Yi.

"I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling," he said.

"Then 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 favour."

Allen, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in December, said he had "lucked out" with his third wife.

"I've been married now for 20 years and it's been good. I think it was probably the odd factor that I'm so much older than the girl I married," he said.

"I was paternal. She deferred to me and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decisionmaking just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things."

He was previously in a relationship with actress and activist Mia Farrow, who starred in 13 of his films.

They separated when she found out about his affair with Soon-Yi, whom she adopted with her ex-husband, conductor Andre Previn. Allen married Soon-Yi in 1997.

He has won four Oscars and a lifetime achievement award at Cannes, the world's top film festival.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline ''I was paternal - it worked''. Print Edition | Subscribe