Woody Allen's latest film, Irrational Man, is about an older man and a younger woman. Emma Stone stars as an undergrad who falls for her older professor, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Emma Stone is 26, while Joaquin Phoenix is 40.
But that age spread is nothing compared to Woody Allen's actual marriage.
"I've been married now for 20 years, and it's been good," Woody Allen told NPR. "I think that was probably the odd factor that I'm so much older than the girl I married. I'm 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked."
Woody Allen is married to Soon-Yi Previn, a romance which caused quite an uproar when the pair first got together.
"I was paternal," Woody Allen says. "She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision-making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things. She flourished. It was just a good-luck thing."
Woody Allen says his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, ‘responded to someone paternal’
— Amanda Tilder (@NutritionAmanda) August 1, 2015
Characterizing his relationship with Soon-Yi as paternal seems an odd choice of words, especially since that dynamic is what caused the scandal in the first place. Soon-Yi Previn is the daughter of Mia Farrow, Woody Allen's ex-partner/girlfriend. Allen and Farrow have a son together, who is therefore Soon-Yi's brother.
"I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling, it wouldn't be serious," Allen says. "But it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more. Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. And the age difference didn't seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor, actually."
Woody Allen says Irrational Man is not about him. But the May-December romance dynamic certainly seems to hit close to home.
This week Woody Allen described his relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn as 'paternal'. No surprises there - she's also his STEPDAUGHTER.
— Paul Cassidy (@DIGITALMINIMAL) July 31, 2015