Woody Allen reveals the inspiration behind "To Rome With Love"

Woody Allen directs his actors in "To Rome With Love."
Sony Pictures Classics
Woody Allen directs his actors in "To Rome With Love."
Sony Pictures Classics

(CBS News) Woody Allen's new film "To Rome With Love" hits theaters Friday, and the iconic filmmaker provided some insight into the film's creation at a press conference in Los Angeles.

Pictures: "To Rome With Love" in NYC
Pictures: "To Rome With Love" L.A. premiere
Pictures: Woody Allen

"To Rome With Love" follows a well-known American architect reliving his youth, an average middle-class Roman who is suddenly Rome's biggest celebrity, a young couple who find themselves in separate romantic encounters and an American opera director, who wants to put a singing mortician on stage. Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz are among the film's stars.

Allen told reporters the theme of fame was "an accident" that had spawned from a couple ideas he had. Allen said, according to Cinema Blend, "I thought, 'It's a funny idea that the guy sings in the shower. It's a funny idea that a guy wakes up one day and suddenly he is famous and doesn't really know why. And two young people come to Rome and they're just married, and they get involved in the situation.'"

The filmmaker, who is known for having an idea drawer, said he pulled several ideas for the film from his drawer filled with his thoughts scribbled on crinkled papers, matchbooks, napkins and whatever else he could find when they came to him.

Allen explained that while the theme of fame may have come from his "unconscious," he thinks about fame the way the chauffeur does in his film. "Life is tough, whether you're famous or whether you're not famous. In the end, it's probably, of those two choices, better to be famous 'cause the perks are better," Allen said.

Allen's character in the film equates retirement to death, and Allen himself says he feels the same way.

"There are guys I know who retire and are very happy. They travel all over the world, they go fishing, they play with their grandchildren, and they never miss work at all," said Allen, according to the site. "And then there are other people and I am one of that kind, that like to work all the time. I just like it."