Kate Winslet is defending her decision to star in Woody Allen’s latest film, Wonder Wheel, despite the sex abuse allegations against the acclaimed filmmaker.
“Of course one thinks about it,” Winslet told New York Times. “But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person.”
In 1992, Allen was accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who was a child at the time. He has never been charged with a sex crime and he repeatedly denied the allegations.
“Of course, I did not molest Dylan. I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being,” Allen wrote in a 2014 piece for the New York Times, blaming his ex Mia Farrow for making false claims. He added, “No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing. (This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.)”
Before Allen wrote that piece, a letter from Dylan Farrow was published by the Times, where she called out those in Hollywood who work with the Oscar-winning director.
“That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself,” she wrote. “That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, ‘who can say what happened,’ to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face — on a poster, on a T-shirt, on television — I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.”
During her interview with the Times, Winslet also compared working with Allen to the time she spent with Roman Polanski on the 2011 film Carnage. Polanski fled the country in 1978 after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
“Woody Allen is an incredible director,” Winslet said. “So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth.”
Wonder Wheel will premiere as the closing night film at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 14, before opening in theaters Dec. 1.