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Mariel Hemingway Says Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’ ‘100 Percent’ Couldn’t Come Out Today

In the film, Hemingway played a 17-year-old girl in a relationship with Allen's 42-year-old man.

MANHATTAN, from left: Woody Allen, Mariel Hemingway, 1979. ©United Artists/courtesy Everett Collection


United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

Mariel Hemingway earned a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” as Tracy, a 17-year-old high school student who’s dating Woody Allen’s 42-year-old Isaac Davis. But that huge age gap has remained controversial since the black-and-white movie released in 1979, and was most recently re-evaluated in the HBO documentary “Allen v. Farrow.” While speaking with Anne Heche and Heather Duffy on the podcast “Better Together with Anne & Heather,” Hemingway said that the movie “100 percent” couldn’t come out today because of that age gap, but the actress insists she had a positive experience making the movie.

“I’m not condoning any behavior,” she said. “That movie probably couldn’t come out today. 100 percent.”

Hemingway said she hasn’t seen “Allen v. Farrow,” the four-episode documentary that aired earlier this year that offered a re-examination of the sexual abuse allegations against Woody Allen by her adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, stemming from 1992.

“[Woody Allen] wasn’t disrespectful of me or unpleasant. He was great. I loved him,” she said, adding “I don’t know them,” referring to the Farrow family. “I don’t know Mia, I don’t know Dylan, I don’t know Ronan. It’s not my story to tell. I don’t make any judgment. I don’t know it. I know that my experience was wonderful.”

Of “Manhattan,” she added, “Was he making a movie about sleeping with a 17-year-old girl? Yes he was. That’s what it was about and I knew that.”

She said, “In many ways we’ve developed, we’ve opened up, we’re okay with things, and we’re going, ‘Wait we’ve got to put a stop to it when it’s inappropriate, when it’s wrong,’ and when it’s wrong it’s wrong. I don’t know the story and I don’t know them.”

Hemingway said that the subject of the documentary is a bit “touchy” for her considering her own experience with Woody Allen. “Me saying that is not me going on a bandstand defending, but the integrity of his work to me still stays intact,” Hemingway said. “I’m not going down that road with him. Maybe that’s cowardly of me.”

While Hemingway has acknowledged that Woody Allen did proposition her (as in her memoir “Out Came the Sun” and a 2020 Daily Beast interview), she insists it wasn’t a traumatic experience. “Woody Allen was wonderful to me. Did he like me? Yeah, he liked me. I didn’t have a relationship with him though. He respected that I didn’t want to have that. I was too young,” she told the Daily Beast last year.

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