June 15, 2012 - 16:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Quintessential New Yorker Woody Allen might have ventured outside his natural element as he directed his latest film To Rome with Love, shot in the Eternal City, and then as he visited Los Angeles to take part in the film's U.S. premiere Thursday, June 14 night when the movie screened as the opening night film of the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live, The Hollywood Reporter said.
But he still seemed right at home.
With the film attracting an overflow crowd that spilled into a second room at the theater, Allen visited both auditoriums before the screenings began and was greeted by standing ovations.
Introduced by LAFF artistic director David Ansen, Allen in turn introduced a number of the movie's cast members, saying, "I'm always very lucky to get a great cast. If you cast very talented people, you get out of their way and don't screw them up, and they make you look like a hero, and then I take credit for it."
On hand were several of his latest muses: Penelope Cruz, Greta Gerwig, Alessandra Mastronardi and Simona Caparrini.
Told afterwards that the audience appeared as excited to see him as to see the film itself, Allen responded, "I'm glad. It's a nice festival, and the projection here is wonderful. It was a pleasure to see the film projected that way."
Standing nearby at the after-party as Allen accepted congratulations, Sony Pictures Classcis co-president Michael Barker remarked, "Woody's having a good time. He's so amiable. It's great. He loves showing off his actors."
While a large section of the comedy, which also stars Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Judy Davis and Roberto Benigni appearing in four separate tales about love, mistaken identities and the pitfalls of celebrity, were shot on the streets of Rome, Allen said crowd control wasn't a problem even as they he filmed during the height of the summer tourist season. "In Italy, you can't tell whether there's crowd control or not," he joked. "That's the way they are, all the time. It's such a vibrant place, people are so used to living in the streets."
To Rome With Love opens in theaters on June 22.