Woody Allen: NYC Too Expensive to Shoot Films

British actress Gemma Jones, right, U.S. film maker Woody Allen, center, and British actress Lucy Punch left, attend 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger' Photocall, in Gijon, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. AP Photo/Juan Avellaneda

Woody Allen says he began shooting movies in European cities because he couldn't afford to do it any more in New York.

However, the American film director told reporters Tuesday in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo that he finds Manhattan poses fewer limitations than European cities, where more tailoring of the story is required to fit the location.

Allen was in Spain to attend the premiere in Spain of his latest film, the romantic comedy "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger," in nearby Aviles.

The film was shot in London and stars Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin and Antonio Banderas. At the news conference in Oviedo, Allen was joined by Lucy Punch and Gemma Jones, who also star in the film.

Allen has recently been in Paris shooting his next movie, "Midnight in Paris," which features French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in a minor role.

Allen hit out at American cinema saying the majority of films over the past decade had been made just for money and lacked creative spirit. In comparison, he said European films were much more artistic.

Allen also praised Spanish actors saying they were now among the best, singling out Banderas in this film as well as Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, with whom he worked in his 2008 movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," set in Spain's second largest city.

"I'm lucky I got to work with the very best ones," said Allen, who said he could not afford to pay actors much but that they took part in his films because they liked to act.

On Monday, Allen, who is in Oviedo with his wife Soon-Yi Previn, took part in a promotional video for the Asturias region, known for its stunning mountains and coastal scenery.


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