He's spoken about making a film in Ireland before, and now Woody Allen is at it again - provided someone shows him the euros. In a weekend interview with The Irish Times, Allen stated quite clearly that he'd love to write and direct an Irish-themed movie, if funding was made available for his low-budget but highly prestigious films (Allen's latest, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," landed a Best Supporting Actress nod for Penelope Cruz, and she's expected to win the statue at the ceremony on Sunday.) "I'm willing to shoot in any place that finances my films. That's why I went to Barcelona and London for my most recent films," Allen said. "And Ireland happens to be a very good place to shoot because the weather is cool and grey and the country is very photogenic. When I was shooting in Barcelona, we had to fight the sunshine all the time. That wouldn't happen in Ireland." (Ain't that the truth!) But money is always the issue with Allen's projects - large scale blockbusters are definitely not what he's about. "If someone offered to put up the money for me to shoot in Ireland, I'm sure I could think of a story," he says. "I've been asked a few times if I could do a movie in Argentina, but I've never been there, so I've no idea where I could begin to think about making a movie there. Whereas I've been to Ireland a few times and I think it's a very viable location. And there have been some wonderful films shot in Ireland." Though his films don't always set the box office alight, the cachet of having an Allen film based in Ireland has to be high on the radar screen of whatever Irish government agency deals with the industry, and the finished product would undoubtedly serve as a great tourism spur as well. If the government can bail out all those bum Irish banks, why not throw Woody a few mil as well? The return on investment would likely be much better. Allen also spoke to the Times about working with Irish actors in his previous projects. Liam Neeson, the U.S. winter box office king given the success of his thriller "Taken," is high on Allen's list of good guys. The two worked together on Allen's Husbands and Wives back in 1992 "Liam is a great performer," Allen says. "He's an actor who's incapable of an unreal moment. Everything he does, whether he's in 'Schindler's List' or my New York romantic movie, he just nails it all the time." Allen has also worked with Colin Farrell on "Cassandra's Dream," and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who co-starred in the London thriller "Match Point" with Scarlett Johansson. The filmmaker thinks it'd be great to pair the two Irish actors on a project. "Jonathan and Colin gave fine performances in my films - very sensitive. I didn't know Jonathan was Irish when I cast him, so we made his character an Irishman," Allen says. "He's a wonderful actor and I'd love to think of something for him to do again, maybe in a film with Colin. There would be a lot of emotion there with the two of them."
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers