Woody Allen regrets ever agreeing to make a TV series for Amazon
Woody Allen, depressed and regretful? You're blowing my mind. Earlier in the year it was announced that Woody Allen had signed on to write and direct a new half-hour television series for Amazon. Episodes of the "Untitled Woody Allen Project" were to be released next year on Amazon's Prime Instant Video service, and the studio had ordered a full season of the show. However in a recent interview with Deadline, the prolific director expressed his regret at ever agreeing to the project.
I have regretted every second since I said OK. It’s been so hard for me. I had the cocky confidence, well, I’ll do it like I do a movie…it’ll be a movie in six parts. Turns out, it’s not. For me, it has been very, very difficult. I’ve been struggling and struggling and struggling. I only hope that when I finally do it — I have until the end of 2016 — they’re not crushed with disappointment because they’re nice people and I don’t want to disappoint them. I am doing my best. I fit it in between films, so it’s not like, no film this year, I’m doing Amazon. It’s a job within my usual schedule. But I am not as good at it as I fantasized I might be. It’s not a piece of cake; it’s a tough thing and I’m earning every penny that they’re giving me and I just hope that they don’t feel, ‘My God, we gave him a very substantial amount of money and freedom and this is what he gives us?’
Allen, who said that he hasn't "had a pleasurable moment since I undertook it," also voiced how alien the whole concept of television is to him:
I don’t even know what a streaming service is; that’s the interesting thing. When you said streaming service, it was the first time I’ve heard that term connected with the Amazon thing. I never knew what Amazon was. I’ve never seen any of those series, even on cable. I’ve never seen The Sopranos, or Mad Men. I’m out every night and when I come home, I watch the end of the baseball or basketball game, and there’s Charlie Rose and I go to sleep. Amazon kept coming to me and saying, please do this, whatever you want. I kept saying I have no ideas for it, that I never watch television. I don’t know the first thing about it. Well, this went on for a year and a half, and they kept making a better deal and a better deal. Finally they said look, we’ll do anything that you want, just give us six half hours. They can be black and white, they can take place in Paris, in New York and California, they can be about a family, they can be comedy, you can be in them, they can be tragic. We don’t have to know anything, just come in with six half hours. And they offered a lot of money and everybody around me was pressuring me, go ahead and do it, what do you have to lose?
I'm sure Woody Allen will get the job done as this pre-production anxiety isn't entirely out of character for him, but even so, the television medium isn't something he's had much experience with. Allen added, "how to begin something and end it after a half an hour and then come back the next time. It’s not me."
Woody Allen's most recent film, IRRATIONAL MAN, premiered at Cannes today and will see a wider release on July 17, 2015.