20 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Woody Allen

Love him or hate him, Woody Allen is the kind of director who comes along maybe once in a generation. He’s been making movies since the ’60s, including classic films like Manhattan, Hannah and her Sisters, Annie Hall, and Crimes & Misdemeanors. Not even his much talked-about split from Mia Farrow and the abuse accusations that followed haven’t managed to slow him down. He remains a film legend, one who will be talked about for years and years to come. 

It's time to take a look behind those stylish black-rim glasses and figure out what makes Allen tick. There are so many facts about Woody Allen that simply aren't widely known. For instance, did you know that he’s not a big reader? That his idea for Annie Hall was initially completely different? Or that he used to be a big fan of magic tricks? 

There’s more where that came from. This list collects lesser-known Woody Allen facts, some of which are likely to surprise you.  Because just taking a quick look at Allen’s life isn’t enough to understand the man behind the camera. That's what this Woody Allen trivia does, so read on and vote up the most fascinating facts.
Photo: Alan Light / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

  • 1

    Allen Has Never Sent an Email

    Besides still using his typewriter, Allen admitted to THR that he never sent an e-mail. He doesn’t own a computer. “I'm not good technically. I have a cellphone, but it's very limited. I know this: I can make calls, and my assistant put all my jazz records on it,” he said.
  • 2

    Annie Hall Was Supposed to Be Very, Very Different

    A photo posted by @film_tastic on

    While Annie Hall is now considered one of the most influential romantic comedies of all time, and is generally considered his best film, Allen didn’t initially plan to make a relationship flick. His purpose was to explore the main character’s life, not necessarily focus on one particular relationship. The movie was originally called Anhedonia - the scientific term for someone who cannot feel pleasure. In edited, however, Allen whittled down the focus of the film.
  • 3

    He Never Re-Watches His Movies

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    Here’s a weird bit of trivia: Allen never re-watches his movies once they’re released. "So I’ve never been satisfied or even pleased with a film that I’ve done. I make them, I’m finished, I’ve never looked at one after. I made my first film in 1968, and I’ve never seen it since. I just cringe when I see them," he confessed

    Hence, if you have your little tradition of re-watching Annie Hall, you’ve almost certainly seen it more times than Allen himself. Kudos. 
  • 4

    He Doesn't Pay Attention to What Others Say About Him

    He Doesn't Pay Attention to What Others Say About Him
    Photo: Celestine Chua / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Unlike many public figures who actively seek out opinions regarding themselves, Allen has insisted that he's not the type to read the comments. Or anything else, for that matter.

    “I never, ever, ever read anything about myself. Not my interviews, not stories about me. I never, ever read any criticism of my films. I scrupulously have avoided any self-preoccupation. When I first started, that was not the case. [But now I] just pay attention to the work and don't read about how great I am or what a fool I am,” he said.
  • 5

    His Real Name Is Allen Stewart Konigsberg

    His Real Name Is Allen Stewart Konigsberg
    Photo: Samuele Ghilardi / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    He picked Woody Allen as a nod to jazz clarinetist Woody Herman. “Woody Allen was born in Brooklyn, New York, in the spring of 1952, when Allen Stewart Konigsberg, who was born in the Bronx on December 1, 1935, settled on the name as a suitable cover,” Eric Lax wrote in his biography of Allen
  • 6

    He Dropped Out of College

    A photo posted by Mango Films (@mango_films) on

    Woody Allen could never stay focused at NYU and spent most of his time writing jokes for local newspaper columnists. He eventually dropped out after failing a film course. In the famous words of Alanis, isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?