The Shallows star Blake Lively has a lot going on right now: Between her new summer movie, her second pregnancy and recent Cannes appearance, she’s made plenty of headlines this month. And she’s been outspoken in her praise of Woody Allen, who directed her in his newest film, Cafe Society.
“[Allen] 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,” she told Hamptons Magazine in an interview published on Wednesday. “For him to have that confidence in you almost gives you the confidence in yourself to just go with the flow.”
“He also is really encouraging as to why he cast you,” Lively continued, noting that she was given opportunities to make her own decisions for her character in Cafe Society. “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 [with period] 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.”
Allen has faced renewed criticism regarding the alleged sexual assault of his stepdaughter Dylan Farrow in 1993. Mia Farrow brought charges against Allen on behalf of her daughter, but the judge found the evidence to be inconclusive that same year.
Lively criticized a host at the Cannes Film Festival last month for making a rape joke referring Allen as well as other comments about other attendees. She separately declined to comment about the allegations to the Los Angeles Times, saying, “It’s very dangerous to factor in things you don’t know anything about. I could [only] know my experience. And my experience with Woody is he’s empowering to women.”