Kate's still the woman for Woody

by BAZ BAMIGBOYE, Daily Mail

Last updated at 10:53 02 July 2004

Woody Allen has told Kate Winslet that he completely understands why she had to pull out of his new movie.

As this column revealed last week, Kate withdrew because, as she told me, she needs to spend 'precious' time with husband Sam Mendes and their children Mia, four, and Joe, six months.

Allen, who has cast Scarlett Johansson in Kate's place, told the Oscar-nominated actress, in a hand-written note, that he's a huge fan of hers and hoped they'd have a chance to work together in the future.

Others connected to the picture were in hysterics, but Allen was totally sympathetic.

He told Kate: "Please don't lose any sleep over this. Life is full of real problems; this is merely a showbiz one."

Kate told me how she'd first met the director in New York several weeks ago. She hobbled in on crutches because her foot had been 'duffed up' during a dancing scene in another film.

"He basically asked me, pretty much there and then, if I could do it and naturally I said 'yes' - because it's a Woody Allen film."

Later she realised that Sam started shooting his film, Jarhead (based on Anthony Swofford's Desert Storm book) in August.

"I want the summer with my family and, frankly, what's the greatest priority?"

Kate knows she's fortunate, compared with other mothers who have to go back to work soon after they've given birth.

"Listen, I'm lucky that I'm in a position where I have a great husband and two wonderful children.

"I know that Woody Allen's amazing and everything, and it would have been a great experience but these are precious times."

That said, she has no plans to retire from acting. After a summer spent by Sam's side she'll help launch Finding Neverland with leading man Johnny Depp, then spend the autumn on a new film project.

Kate said she thought Ms Johansson would be "completely brilliant" in the Allen picture, which films at Ealing studios and on locations in and around London.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now