A star-studded crowd gathered at The Paris Theatre in New York City Wednesday night as Amazon and Lionsgate collaborated with The Cinema Society for the U.S. premiere of Woody Allen‘s “Café Society.” The film, which has an ensemble cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, and Corey Stoll, originally bowed at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in May.
The 1930s-based romance follows New York native Bobby Dorfman (Eisenberg) as he travels to Hollywood and back only to find himself in a love triangle with his uncle, played by Carell, and his uncle’s secretary, portrayed by Stewart.
According to Allen, the film was marked by the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood and was intentionally scripted to feel like a book. “I wanted to write a novel on film and I wanted it to have a novel structure,” he said.
Stewart, who had to audition for the part of bright-eyed Vonnie, a departure from her more dramatic romantic roles, said that she was surprised by Allen’s laissez-faire directing style “considering how particular his films are.”
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“It really all goes into the writing,” Stewart told reporters. “Not to diminish his process because I think there’s this intrinsic natural thing that just happens, [but] his faith in that process and how casual it is, actually is what makes his movies so poignant and rhythmic.”
Stewart was not the only actress in the film who was drawn to Allen’s relaxed direction. Parker Posey, who plays the owner of a modeling agency, said she jumped at the chance to take the part. “It’s a Woody Allen film! He’s a great writer,” she said before adding, “and I love the 1930s and 20s.”
Post screening, Posey and Stewart snapped photos at The Carlyle Hotel while enjoying shrimp tempura, sparkling white wine, and jazz music. Other celebrity attendees included Heidi Klum, Anna Wintour, Dakota Fanning, and Stewart’s “Equals” co-star Nicholas Hoult.
“Café Society” premieres in select theaters July 15.