Blake Lively is speaking glowingly of often-beleaguered writer-director Woody Allen, who helms her new film “Café Society,” saying he “creates a very pleasant set where everybody’s just happy to be there and happy to be making a movie, and happy to be a part of film history.”
Lively, 28, who plays a Manhattan socialite in the 1930s-set romantic comedy-drama, says in the new issue of Hamptons magazine that Allen, 80, shoots incredibly short days. “Most things are one shot, one to two takes. You’ve got a great ensemble cast; it’s fast-paced, talky, talky, talky dialogue, tons of improv.”
The actress, who did not allude to recently revived, decades-old sexual-abuse allegations against Allen, says that, “It’s really cool to work with a director who’s done so much, because he knows exactly what he wants. The fact that he does one shot for an entire scene — this could be a scene with eight people and one to two takes — it gives you a level of confidence because when he’s got it, he knows he’s got it.”
She adds, “He also is really encouraging as to why he cast you, so he’ll say, ‘Say the dialogue that’s written and then you can improvise for a while.’ And his dialogue is so specific, and it’s speaking in a 1930s dialect and references, so it’s intimidating to think, ‘Oh, let me just improvise there and hope that my words blend seamlessly alongside Woody Allen’s.’ Which they clearly wouldn’t and don’t. But he’s very empowering.”
“Café Society,” also starring Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart and Corey Stoll, opens in limited release July 15.