Stars Who Turned Their Backs To Woody Allen

The following article includes allegations of sexual assault.

Woody Allen started out as a neurotic stand-up comedian and humorist, before shifting full-time into filmmaking in the early 1970s. Writing, directing, and often starring in his projects, Allen churned out about one movie a year for almost 40 years, most of them chatty, erudite tales of wealthy and deeply-flawed New Yorkers, including classics like "Manhattan," "Annie Hall," and "Hannah and Her Sisters." Mainstream Hollywood loved the guy, bestowing 24 Academy Award nominations on Allen, including three wins for his screenwriting.

His movies continued to get made, and A-list actors kept agreeing to sign on to those films, throughout the 1990s and beyond, even after Allen dumped longtime companion Mia Farrow in favor of a romance with her adopted teenage daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. In the ensuing custody battle over their other children, daughter Dylan Farrow reported that Allen had sexually abused her in his Connecticut home. Allen was cleared of assault charges in 1993, but after the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements ramped up in 2017, Dylan Farrow re-stated her allegations against her father. At that point, many of Allen's favored actors could no longer stay silent. Here are all of the performers who expressed their regret for having ever worked with him.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Drew Barrymore personally apologized to Dylan Farrow

In 1996, Woody Allen ditched his usual film format of couples in New York chatting and arguing in favor of couples in New York, Paris, and Venice chatting, arguing, and also singing and dancing. "Everyone Says I Love You" was a musical, with a cast packed with big stars, who weren't trained vocalists by and large, including Drew Barrymore, whose singing voice was dubbed by Olivia Hayman.

On a May 2021 episode of her eponymous daytime talk show, Barrymore discussed "Everyone Says I Love You." "There was no higher career calling card than to work with Woody Allen," Barrymore said. "And I see what's happening in the industry now and that is because of you making that brave choice," Barrymore added, thanking her guest, Dylan Farrow, Allen's adoptive daughter and assault accuser. Barrymore further explained that she previously felt "gaslit into not looking at a narrative beyond what I was being told."

Kate Winslet is sorry for acting in a Woody Allen movie

A seven-time Academy Award nominee, Kate Winslet has made a lot of great movies and worked with some of the best filmmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Peter Jackson ("Heavenly Creatures"), Ang Lee ("Sense and Sensibility"), and James Cameron ("Titanic"). In 2020, while speaking to Vanity Fair, Winslet expressed an opinion of perplexed self-criticism for making films with Woody Allen as well as Roman Polanski, who, according to AP, fled to Europe in 1978 to avoid standing trial for a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and has kept up a healthy and acclaimed career as a filmmaker ever since, winning an Oscar for "The Pianist" in 2003, and directing Winslet in the 2011 movie "Carnage."

"It's like, what the f*** was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? It's unbelievable to me now how those men were held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry and for as long as they were," Winslet said. "And I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. I can't turn back the clock. I'm grappling with those regrets."

Rachel Brosnahan's biggest regret is working for Woody Allen

Woody Allen, a steadfast proponent of the cinema in its classic form, joined the streaming revolution in 2016 with the Amazon Originals six-part limited series "Crisis in Six Scenes." The story of a family in comedically amusing turmoil in the mid-20th century, the cast included Rachel Brosnahan, who, shortly after "Crisis in Six Scenes," would go on to win all kinds of awards for her performance as a standup comedian who turns her mid-20th century family upside-down in Amazon Studio's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Making a project with Allen is not something that Brosnahan will likely do ever again, not after he was accused of assault by Dylan Farrow. "Look, I had a great experience working on that project," Brosnahan told The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast. "But I do have to take this opportunity to say that, for me, I have really struggled with the decision to do that project for a long time. Honestly, it's the decision that I have made in my life that is the most inconsistent with everything I stand for and believe in, both publicly and privately."

Greta Gerwig won't be a Woody Allen apologist

By the end of the 2010s, Greta Gerwig had established herself as a visionary filmmaker; the writer and director of three movies: "Nights and Weekends," "Lady Bird," and "Little Women." The latter two earned Gerwig Academy Award nominations for screenwriting, and by 2020 she'd scaled back on what had initially made her famous: acting, in small and independent movies like "Greenberg," "20th Century Women," and "To Rome with Love," Woody Allen's 2012 Italian-set romantic ensemble comedy.

After Dylan Farrow's reports and allegations of assault against Woody Allen came to light in 2017, Gerwig spoke out against the writer-director and in support of Farrow. "If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film," Gerwig wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times. "I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again."

Gerwig added that what left her "heartbroken" was the notion that appearing in an Allen film "increased another woman's pain," adding that Allen's movies "have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward."

Mira Sorvino is extremely apologetic for Mighty Aphrodite

Mira Sorvino had paid her dues in Hollywood with small roles in movies and on soap operas in the early '90s. And despite sharing a name and profession with her famous and well-established father, Paul Sorvino, it was a role in a Woody Allen film that made the future star of cult classic "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" the toast of Hollywood. In the 1995 movie "Mighty Aphrodite," Allen played Lenny, the adoptive father of a genius who tracks down the child's birth mother: a sunny but not-very-bright sex worker named Linda Ash, played so well by Sorvino that it won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In January 2018, Sorvino published an open letter to Dylan Farrow in the form of an essay for HuffPost. Sorvino wrote about how "it is difficult to sever ties and denounce your heroes, your benefactors," citing an adolescent worship of Allen's work and how playing Linda Ash in "Mighty Aphrodite" represented her "dream role." She then apologized and explained herself. "I confess that at the time I worked for Woody Allen I was a naive young actress," Sorvino wrote. "I swallowed the media's portrayal of your abuse allegations against your father as an outgrowth of a twisted custody battle between Mia Farrow and him, and did not look further into the situation, for which I am terribly sorry."

Timothee Chalamet gave away his salary from A Rainy Day in New York

Woody Allen is (or arguably, was) held in such high esteem as a writer and director that being cast in one of his films became an unofficial rite of passage for emerging young actors. In 2017, Timothee Chalamet, the hottest new performer in Hollywood for his Oscar-nominated performances as a teenager in love with an older man in "Call Me By Your Name," and as a cool Sacramento high schooler in "Lady Bird," got his number called, with Allen bringing him on board for the light and fluffy rom-com "A Rainy Day in New York."

Shortly after that film wrapped production and awaited release, Dylan Farrow's allegations of abuse on Allen's part emerged, leading reporters to ask actors how they could justify working with the filmmaker. "I have been asked in a few recent interviews about my decision to work on a film with Woody Allen last summer," Chalamet wrote in an Instagram post in January 2018. "I'm not able to answer the question directly because of contractual obligations. But what I can say is this: I don't want to profit from my work on the film." Chalamet pledged to hand over his acting fees from "A Rainy Day in New York" to Time's Up, the LGBT Center in New York, and RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

Elliot Page deeply regrets acting in To Rome with Love

After winning a screenwriting Oscar for the 2011 French fantasy "Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen followed it up with a relationship comedy in another romantic European city: "To Rome with Love." Elliot Page portrayed Monica, one-half of one of the movie's central couples.

In the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements rocking Hollywood and calling out male abuses, both sexual and of power, Dylan Farrow re-affirmed her accusations against Allen in 2017, prompting Page to write a public Facebook post in which he called out inappropriate conduct on the set of "X-Men: The Last Stand" by director Brett Ratner, and also shared his lingering negative feelings about acting in "To Rome With Love." 

"I did a Woody Allen movie and it is the biggest regret of my career," Page wrote (via People). "I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because 'of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.' Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake."

Colin Firth isn't a Woody Allen defender

For years, Colin Firth was a fancy heartthrob and better known in his native U.K. than in the U.S., a cult figure for portraying Mr. Darcy in the popular 1995 British television miniseries version of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." After portraying Mark Darcy, a variation on the character, in "Bridget Jones's Diary" and a lovelorn writer in "Love, Actually," Firth became a star in America, his A-list status certified in the 2010s with an Academy Award for "The King's Speech" and then a role as an illusionist in Woody Allen's 1920s period piece "Magic in the Moonlight."

That 2014 film, which would otherwise be a career milestone for Firth, will likely be the only time the actor works with Allen. On the same day that Dylan Farrow gave a TV interview accusing Allen of sexual assault, according to The Guardian, Firth disavowed the filmmaker. "I wouldn't work with him again," the actor simply and succinctly said.

Hayley Atwell won't work with Woody Allen again

Hayley Atwell has made a lot of television and a lot of movies. She's forever part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as 1940s-era agent Peggy Carter, a role she played on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Agent Carter," while she's earned awards nominations for artsier and more literary fare like "Howards End," "The Duchess," and "The Pillars of the Earth." Atwell's very first big-screen role: Angela Stark in Woody Allen's 2007 crime drama "Cassandra's Dream." That being said, it's a role she'd come to regret a decade later.

"It was my first film and I didn't feel directed by him at all. I didn't have any kind of relationship with him. And that was fine but bizarre," Atwell told The Guardian in 2018. "I didn't know back then what I know now. Would I work with him now? No. And I stand in solidarity with his daughter and offer an apology to her if my contribution to his work has caused her suffering or made her feel dismissed in any way."

Rebecca Hall
 made two Woody Allen movies, but won't make any more

After a few roles on British television, actor Rebecca Hall found her way into the American-based film and TV industry playing Vicky in Woody Allen's 2008 romantic dramedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." About a decade later, she collaborated with Allen again, taking on the small role of Connie in the filmmaker's project "A Rainy Day in New York."

In light of Dylan Farrow's statements about Allen, Hall publicly and emphatically rued having acted in both movies. While she expressed gratitude to Allen for providing her with one of her big breaks via "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and giving her an "easy," day-long job in "A Rainy Day in New York," Hall wrote on Instagram (via ABC News) that she had grown "conflicted and saddened" over how her "actions have made another woman feel silenced and dismissed." Hall added that she was "profoundly sorry" for working with Allen and that she would donate her salary from "A Rainy Day in New York" to the Time's Up movement. 

Michael Caine was 'stunned' at the accusations against Woody Allen

Michael Caine is one of the most respected and lauded actors of his generation. The British film icon, best known for "Alfie," "The Italian Job," "Get Carter," "Sleuth," "Dressed to Kill," "Educating Rita," and "The Dark Knight," among dozens of others, has been nominated for the Academy Award six times, winning his first of two for his role in the 1986 Woody Allen romantic dramedy "Hannah and Her Sisters." Cane played Elliot, a man married to Hannah (Mia Farrow) who begins an affair with her sister, Lee (Barbara Hershey). It's the first and only occasion that Caine ever worked with Allen, and he told The Guardian that making "Hannah and Her Sisters" was a "wonderful time," even taking credit for introducing Allen to Farrow, with whom he'd begin a long and ultimately ill-fated partnership.

When Farrow's daughter, Dylan Farrow, re-alleged Allen of assault, Caine had a lot of very powerful feelings about his old collaborator. "I am so stunned, I'm a patron of the NSPCC [the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children] and have very strong views about pedophilia," Caine told The Guardian. "I don't regret working with him, which I did in complete innocence; but I wouldn't work with him again."

David Krumholtz regrets acting in Wonder Wheel

David Krumholtz has been acting since the early 1990s when he was a child, churning out memorable performances in "Addams Family Values" (as Wednesday's camp boyfriend, Joel Glicker) and "The Santa Clause" (as Bernard the elf). He's since starred in more than 100 films and TV shows, including "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" and "Numb3rs."

In 2017, Krumholtz had a supporting role in "Wonder Wheel," Woody Allen's 1950s romantic drama period piece set amidst New York City's Coney Island amusements. Krumholtz played Jake, friend of Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a local lifeguard, and the film's narrator. In January 2018, shortly after the movie hit art house movie theaters around the United States, Krumholtz took to Twitter (via Vulture) to express some very intense second thoughts about his involvement. "I deeply regret working with Woody Allen on "Wonder Wheel," Krumholtz wrote in a tweet he later deleted. "It's one of my most heartbreaking mistakes. We can no longer let these men represent us in entertainment, politics, or any other realm. They are beneath real men."

Griffin Newman donated his salary from a Woody Allen movie

Woody Allen's romantic comedy "A Rainy Day in New York," in which Elle Fanning and Timothee Chalamet play young lovers having adventures over the course of a weekend in the Big Apple, was filmed in 2017, according to AP, but a planned 2018 American release was pushed back (ultimately for two years) after Dylan Farrow's allegations resurfaced. Shortly after production ended on the still-untitled film, actor Griffin Newman — who'd appeared in the small role of Josh, around the same time that he'd scored a career breakthrough as Arthur on Amazon's adaptation of "The Tick" — publicly wrestled with his guilt and unease over working with Allen.

"I need to get this off my chest," Newman tweeted (via Vulture). "I worked on Woody Allen's next movie. I believe he is guilty. I donated my entire salary to RAINN," he added, referring to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. Griffin also shared that he toyed with the idea of quitting the movie but didn't because his "parents were incredibly proud" he'd landed the role and that he was "a coward."

Natalie Portman wants to change the conversation

Before Queen Padmé Amidala in the "Star Wars" prequels, before her Oscar-winning turn in "Black Swan," before her iconic performances in "V for Vendetta" and "Garden State," one of Natalie Portman's very first roles was Laura in Woody Allen's 1996 romantic musical "Everyone Says I Love You." Appearing in a movie by the filmmaker, accused of sexual assault by his daughter, Dylan Farrow, is a choice Portman likely will not make again.

In January 2018, in a panel event about the aims and effects of the Time's Up movement, Portman brought up Farrow's allegations. "I believe you, Dylan. I want to say that. I believe you, Dylan," Portman said (via Bustle). When asked by Buzzfeed writer Kate Aurthur if she thought Allen's time as a powerful Hollywood filmmaker was over after Farrow's allegations, Portman framed the topic in the bigger picture. "Let's not talk about what man's career is over. Let's talk about the vast art trove we've lost by not giving women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community opportunities," Portman said. "I don't want to talk about 'Isn't it sad that this person who's made 500 movies can't make movies anymore?'"