2 Hours in Russia Too Much for Allen

ReutersAllen and his wife, Soon-Yi, attending a screening of his film "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" at the Cannes Film Festival.
Woody Allen is ready to make movies anywhere in the world -- but not in Russia.

The Oscar-winning director, who has shot four films outside of the United States, told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival that he had traveled to Spain for his latest movie, the romantic comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," after being approached by Spanish financial backers.

"People from Barcelona called and said if I was interested in making a film there, they would finance it, so I said, 'Sure,'" Allen said last weekend. "If someone had called me from Rome or Venice or Stockholm or God knows where, I probably would have agreed to it just as readily."

But Allen drew the line with Russia.

When an Uzbek reporter asked if he would consider shooting in Russia, Allen said no, recollecting a family trip to Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, years ago.

"I was planning on being there for five days, and I was there for about two hours, and I went to the travel agent in town and I said, 'Get me the first reservation out of here. I don't care where it goes,'" Allen said.

"I had a terrible, terrible time there, and I haven't been back since then. And I'm told that it's greatly changed since then, but it would take a lot, because I'm a fearful traveler, and it would take a lot to get me back to Russia."

AP, MT