In 1979, Mariel Hemingway starred in Woody Allen’s Manhattan as a 17-year-old high schooler who’s dating a 42-year-old played by Allen. The film earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Academy Awards, but has remained controversial for the large age-gap that separates the film’s leads. During an appearance on Anne Heche and Heather Duffy’s podcast, Better Together with Anne & Heather, Hemingway commented on her experience making the movie and what it would be like if the film tried to release today.
“I’m not condoning any behavior,” she said. “That movie probably couldn’t come out today. 100 percent.”
HBO’s four-episode documentary series, Allen v. Farrow, reignited the conversation surrounding the director’s past and his history with young women. The series re-examined the sexual abuse allegations against Allen by Dylan Farrow in 1992.
“[Woody Allen] wasn’t disrespectful of me or unpleasant. He was great. I loved him,” said Hemingway. “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.”
Hemingway said that the subject of the documentary is a bit touchy for her, and that she hasn’t yet seen it. In her memoir, Out Came the Sun, she confirmed that Allen had, at one point, propositioned her.
“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,” Hemingway said in a 2020 interview with the Daily Beast.