Adrien Brody visited Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty, Sexy, Funny on SiriusXM on Monday to plug his new film Manhattan Night, and the two ended up discussing whether Woody Allen and Roman Polanski’s film careers should be viewed separately from the sexual abuse allegations made against them. Brody, who has worked with both directors, said that “life is very complicated” and “people make mistakes.” Adrien went on to suggest that there should be a distinction between the directors’ personal lives and their art.
“I look to collaborate with artistic people and to go into an endeavor without judgment and to hopefully be treated with the same,” said Brody. “[Filmmaking is] an artistic pursuit, and Polanski, for instance, had a very complicated and difficult life. It would be unfair of me to delve into something as complicated as the past that was brought up in the media.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Polanski’s “difficult life” was the subject of much discussion at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1977, the director plead guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl and fled the U.S. to live in Europe and avoid possible jail time. Brody, who won an Oscar in 2003 for his role in Polanski’s The Pianist, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002 that filming the Holocaust story for eight months caused Adrien and his director to grow close, especially since the film is reflective of Polanski’s childhood.
“I had Roman there to really provide me with guidance,” said Brody of filming. “[Polanski] had experienced more than his share of loss in life, and yet he has this tremendous power to overcome that and thrive.”
Polanski has continued to live in Europe and work with actors like Brody with little difficulty since fleeing the U.S. after his sexual assault case.
Meanwhile, Allen, who directed Adrien Brody in 2011’s Midnight in Paris, is in the spotlight after his son, Ronan Farrow, wrote a scathing column for The Hollywood Reporter last week. Farrow reasserted molestation claims that his sister, Dylan Farrow, made as a child, and then again in a 2014 New York Times open letter, and called out the media for failing to interrogate his father or hold him accountable. Allen denies his daughter’s sexual abuse allegations and wrote in a response to Dylan’s open letter for the New York Times that the allegations were ludicrous.
Ronan’s column appeared the same day that Allen’s latest picture, Cafe Society, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, and, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the director found himself in the middle of a media storm. French comedian Laurent Lafitte opened the film festival with a joke alluding to Polanski’s sex abuse case. The joke drew gasps from the crowd and the media immediately connected it with Allen.
Brody told McCarthy that he has never been criticized for working with Polanski or Allen. McCarthy wondered aloud if there is a double standard in Hollywood since no actor is in a hurry to work with Bill Cosby in the wake of his alleged sex abuse scandal, yet Allen and Polanski still make critically acclaimed films with many of the industry’s top talent. Adrien was uncertain.
“I don’t even read about these things, to be honest,” Brody said. “I choose not to indulge this kind of fodder.”
Brody said that it wasn’t his place to comment on Polanski or Allen’s personal lives and went on to suggest that he doesn’t focus on the negatives in life.
“I think there’s a lot of catastrophe in this world and a lot of cruelty and a lot of carelessness,” said Adrien. “Of course it’s horrible what comes out sometimes, and people have done things in their lives that may be inexcusable, but it’s not something to focus on.”
[Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images]