While doing the promotional rounds for her latest film, Wonder Wheel, Kate Winslet’s been giving the public lessons on separating art from the artist. In a September interview with The New York Times, Winslet defended her choice to work with Allen, who’s been accused by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of sexual abuse, by proclaiming her ignorance of what really happened in the Farrow-Allen household: “I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family.” But, as an actor, she just “[steps] away and [says], 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.”
But what transcended Winslet’s defense from mere “head in the sand” avoidance was her revelation that “Woody Allen is an incredible director. So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth.” For her, it’s obviously much easier to ignore the fact that Polanski pled guilty to raping a 13-year-old in 1979 because he’s made such great films as Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, and Carnage, the latter of which starred Winslet. It’s not as if she’s agreed to look the other way for some mere journeyman director.
Now, as she tries to generate Oscar buzz for her role in Allen’s latest dull and derivative effort, Winslet is upping her game from “we can’t possibly know what happened,” to “but he’s just so sensitive.” In November, Winslet told The Los Angeles Times “as far as I know, [Allen] wasn’t convicted of anything. I’m an actor; he’s a director. I don’t know his family. I’ve heard and read exactly what you’ve heard and read. I know as much as you do. That’s all I can say.” She wisely doesn’t bring up Polanski again, because his crimes are very much a part of public record.
With pleading ignorance no longer a viable option, Winslet—and interviewers—have just given up on the subject of the allegations against Allen altogether. Instead, she told the Sydney Morning Herald that she thinks “on some level Woody is a woman.” The SMH notes that Winslet offered that as a joking response after being asked about the memorable female characters Allen has written. Take her Wonder Wheel character Ginny, for example—she’s a woman in a loveless marriage who begins dating a younger man, who in turn, begins dating her even younger stepdaughter. (Where have we heard that before?)
As for how Allen gets inside the minds of women like Ginny, who are dealing with their lovers who are attracted to minors, gosh, Winslet believes, “he’s very in touch with that side of himself.” No, not the statutory charge-courting side. Allen just “understands the female characters he creates exceptionally well. His female characters are always so rich and large and honest in terms of how they’re feeling and he just knows how to write dialogue for them to communicate all that.”
Winslet, we’ll remind you, called for Harvey Weinstein’s punishment upon learning of his long history of predatory behavior, and even said she intentionally refrained from thanking Weinstein while accepting her Oscar for The Reader. If she gets that far, we wonder what she’ll say at the 2018 Academy Awards.