“Life is meaningless” And Other Bits Of Awesome From ‘Magic In The Moonlight’ Press Conference

On a beautiful Friday morning, I and others gathered for a press conference about Woody Allen’s latest comedy, Magic In The Moonlight. In attendance is Colin Firth, Jacki Weaver and non other than the man himself, Woody Allen.

Magic In The Moonlight

Isn’t that just an amazing shot of Colin Firth? So dashing!

Woody Allen on the meaning of life

“I firmly believe, and I don’t mean this as a criticism, life is meaningless.”

Here’s the three minute tangent:

Woody Allen about the movies

“I’ve been escaping my whole life. Since I was a child. I escaped into movies on the other side, as an audience member. I escaped by going into the movies, sitting in the movies all day long. Then when I got older, I escaped into the world of unreality by making movies.”

DSCF9488.RAFWoody allen on casting Jacki Weaver

“Met her at my cutting room. The minute she walked out, Juliet and I knew that we wanted her.”

Jacki Weaver talking about getting offered a role in the film

“I thought it was a hoax!”

_DSF0054.RAFWoody Allen about fraudulent spiritualism

“They were able to fool the general public, of course, they were able to fool educated people, and intellectuals, and they were able to fool scientists and doctors, but they couldn’t fool magicians.”

Woody Allen at the prospect of not getting Colin Firth

They were all very good people, but there was an enormous drop in what we had hoped for. Colin was the perfect person to play this.”

DSCF9665.RAFWoody Allen casting Emma Stone

“We had her in, and she was very intelligent to chat with. And I cast her. And she did such a good job, she’s in the movie I’m doing now.”

_DSF0091.RAFWoody Allen on the past

“I set films, very often in the past. Because I can create the illusion more tantalizingly.”

DSCF8569.RAFWoody Allen why his last few films have been a commercial success

“Pure accident. You make a film. You always hope that you’re gonna make Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief or something. You make a film. Then for one reason or another, one clicks and one doesn’t.”


“It’s completely spontaneous. It’s a hazard. I don’t know why. One of them works and one of them doesn’t. You just make the one that you enjoy making at the time and you think that maybe there’s a good chance people will like the story.”

_DSF0266.RAFWoody Allen on how he lives in a bubble:

“I prefer the magic to the reality and I have since I was 5 years old. And hopefully I can continue to make films and constantly escape into them.”

Woody Allen on the types of films he makes

“There’s a story in two filmmakers. One filmmaker makes films that are deep, intellectual, profound and confrontational. And the other one purely vacuous escapist films. And I’m not sure if the one that’s making escapist films is not making a bigger contribution that the one who makes deeper films.”

_DSF0088.RAFColin Firth on preparing for his role

“When dialogue is good and when relationships are good, so much of the work is done for you.”

DSCF0410.RAFColin Firth on learning magic for the role

“I might as well of done a crash course on being a concert pianist. You can’t do it. You’re practicing every waking hour of your day.”

DSCF9658.RAFJacki Weaver about returning to the theater

“I’m in love with making movies at the moment. I’d rather memorize three minutes of dialogue than three hours.”

Jacki Weaver about working with Woody Allen

“I feel I’ve known Mr Allen for 50-er 40 years anyway because I used to plagiarize his stand-up when I was a teenager. (He didn’t know that, I’m gonna get sued!)” *laughs all around*

DSCF8504.RAFWoody Allen’s idea of a perfect comedy

“I do think Pymalion was a great, great comedy. The most perfect one written.”

DSCF0404.RAFWoody Allen on directing

“When in 1968, when I started directing films, I was only directing one to protect my own jokes. And those films like, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, they were just jokes. One joke after another. I tried my best to do funny jokes. I cut the ones that I thought were not funny, and kept in the ones that I thought were good.”

DSCF9550.RAFWoody Allen on developing

“Then gradually, when you do that, hopefully, you develop a little. You want to do something a little more ambitious, and when I did Annie Hall, people were saying to me, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ‘You shouldn’t do a movie where you sacrifice laughs for plot.’ ‘Just do laughs.’ But I kept getting more and more ambitious. I was willing to strike out. I was willing make films like Interiors, and fall on my face. It didn’t matter to me, I wanted to try and grow.”


Magic In The Moonlight debuts Friday, July 25th in limited release, then expands the following week.

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa

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