×

Aronson: Stoking Woody’s annual output

Women's Impact Report 2011: Letty Aronson

As a producer for the most prolific feature filmmaker on the planet, Letty Aronson serves multiple roles on Woody Allen’s annual output: “I find the money for the films,” she says. “And after they’re done, I sell the major territories.” She also functions as a special collaborator — being Allen’s younger sister, she knows the writer-director perhaps better than anybody else.

“I’m always there to give my opinions,” says Aronson. When budgetary issues arise, it often falls on Aronson to approach Allen with the bad news. “I’ll discuss it with him and say, ‘We don’t really have the money for this or that.’ But he’s actually very cooperative as a director.”

On their most recent success, “Midnight in Paris,” Allen’s highest-grossing film to date (approximately $100 million worldwide and the specialty hit by which all others are currently being measured), Aronson also offered script notes and casting suggestions.

Popular on Variety

But Aronson emphasizes that these are strictly Woody Allen affairs, with the auteur weighing in on every decision: “Every piece of clothing, every piece of furniture, there’s no area that he’s not involved with. ”

This total control makes the movies difficult to finance in the U.S., she says, because “studio executives fancy themselves creative forces, so they want to give notes. But Woody refuses to work that way. If you want to finance one of his films, you don’t get a script, you don’t get input on the cast, you don’t get dailies — you give your money and you see a finished film.”

As a result, she continues, “it’s much easier for me to finance his films in Europe.”

Aronson just finished producing Allen’s latest overseas jaunt, the Rome-set “Bop Decameron,” and is also launching three one-act plays on Broadway, collectively titled “Relatively Speaking,” written by Elaine May, Ethan Coen and Allen.

Aronson has worked with other filmmakers in the past, such as David Mamet and Jason Alexander, but she has little time now given her brother’s uninterrupted pace. “Since working with Woody, it’s always finding money for the next film that keeps me busy.”

SNAPSHOT
Title: Producer
Role model: “I do not have a role model.”
Career mantra: “Find the money for next year.”
Leisure pursuits: “I have children and grandchildren. I took a class about opera a few years ago, and this year I’m taking a class at Julliard on Tchaikovsky. And I love to travel.”
Philanthropic passion: “I don’t earn enough money to be philanthropic.”

More Scene

  • Logan Lerman Jordan Peele Al Pacino

    Al Pacino and Carol Kane Had a ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ Reunion on the ‘Hunters’ Set

    Nearly 45 years after Al Pacino and Carol Kane appeared in Sidney Lumet’s classic film “Dog Day Afternoon,” an Amazon Prime Video series about Nazi-hunters in 1977 New York City has brought them back together. Go figure. “I’m proud to be working with him again,” Kane told Variety at the “Hunters” premiere on Wednesday night [...]

  • Anya Taylor Joy Emma Premiere

    Anya Taylor-Joy on Playing Jane Austen's Clever, Callous Protagonist in 'Emma'

    It was an evening of elegance at the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features’ “Emma” on Tuesday night. The red carpet was lined with pastel floral arrangements at the DGA Theater, priming visitors to be transported to the ornate pageantry of Georgian-era England, as depicted in this new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale. Anya [...]

  • Tom Holland Chris Pratt Onward Premiere

    Tom Holland and Chris Pratt Show Off Real-Life Bond at Pixar's 'Onward' Premiere

    Pixar’s new movie “Onward” marks a reunion of sorts for Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. The two actors, who both have ties to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently teamed in “Avengers: Endgame” as Spider-Man and Star-Lord, play brothers in the animated fantasy adventure. Their friendship has become a highlight of “Onward’s” promotional tour [...]

  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph

    Da’Vine Joy Randolph Praises Hulu's 'High Fidelity' for Telling a Realistic New York Story

    If HBO’s “Girls” characterized a certain type of young, disaffected millennial, fumbling cluelessly around a gentrifying Brooklyn, and if “Sex and the City” used Manhattan as a tantalizing playground for a class of well-connected, glamorous and decidedly 90s-bound women, both shows had one thing in common: they were painfully, inevitably white. “We’re gonna fix that!,” [...]

  • Harrison Ford Call of the Wild

    Why Harrison Ford Wanted to Play John Thornton in ‘The Call of the Wild’

    Joining legends like Charlton Heston and Clarke Gable, who have played the role of John Thornton in “The Call of the Wild,” Harrison Ford now stands next to a CGI-enhanced version of the dog named Buck in the latest adaptation of Jack London’s classic 1903 novel. “I thought the film has a lot to say [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content