Actress Elle Fanning has expressed “regret” for any offence caused by working with controversial director Woody Allen on upcoming film A Rainy Day In New York
The filmmaker and his collaborators have faced renewed criticism in recent months after Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, repeated calls for Hollywood actors to shun her estranged father amid allegations suggesting he sexually abused her as a child – claims Woody has vehemently denied.
However, as the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements against sexual misconduct began to dominate industry headlines, more and more of Allen’s movie stars have come out in support of Farrow – Woody’s daughter with his actress ex Mia Farrow – and vowed never to work with him again.
Fanning was asked about her decision to feature in Allen’s upcoming romantic comedy during an interview at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas on Saturday, 10 March, when she appeared to be caught off-guard by the question as she promoted her new thriller, Galveston.
Without mentioning the director by name, she told TheWrap.com, “I regret if my decision to work with anyone hurt anyone in the process, because it’s never your intent to do [so].”
The 19-year-old Maleficent star then voiced her backing for the anti-sexual misconduct and discrimination movements sweeping Hollywood, stating, “I’m a huge supporter of women and working with women and [Galveston director] Melanie [Laurent].”
Fanning also revealed she had made a contribution to the Time’s Up legal defence fund, taking the lead of her A Rainy Day in New York co-stars Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet, who donated their wages from the film to charity
“This conversation that we’re having needs to be had for sure and it needs to be continued,” she added. “I’m a huge supporter of all of that.”
However, she stopped short of promising never to work with the moviemaker in future, like Hall and Chalamet have done, a vow British acting icon Michael Caine also made in a weekend chat with The Guardian.
The Italian Job legend won his first Oscar for his role in Allen’s 1986 movie Hannah and Her Sisters, and admits he was stunned to hear of the allegations made against the 82-year-old.
Referencing his work with Britain’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) charity, Caine said, “I’m a patron of the NSPCC and have very strong views about paedophilia.
“I can’t come to terms with [the accusations against Allen], because I loved Woody and had a wonderful time with him. I even introduced him to Mia.”
“I don’t regret working with him, which I did in complete innocence,” he added, “but I wouldn’t work with him again, no.”
The accusations against Allen were investigated by police in the early 1990s, when Mia Farrow first went public with the claims, but no charges were ever filed.