TORONTO — Woody Allen loves shooting in Paris. He doesn't care for the gossip about one of his co-stars, France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Allen said he was shocked at gossip column reports that Bruni-Sarkozy was a handful on the set of his romantic comedy "Midnight in Paris" or that he hired another actress to reshoot her scenes and cut her from the film.
Reports that it took Bruni-Sarkozy 32 takes to shoot a scene were false, Allen said in an interview Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival, where his comic drama "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" played ahead of its theatrical release next week.
"She was no problem at all," said Allen, who shot "Midnight in Paris" over the summer, his first film made in France. "I was delighted with her."
Allen said he did a typical eight or 10 takes with Bruni-Sarkozy, the same as the rest of the cast, which includes Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams. He said Bruni-Sarkozy was not replaced and that her scenes remain in the film.
"This is a hundred percent untrue," Allen said. "She's in the picture. Everything she shot is in the picture. I love her. She's great. It's not a big part, but it's a respectable part. Everything was totally made up. Now, I did hire another actress late in the picture for another part, for a totally different role. They're both in the picture."
Bruni-Sarkozy plays a tour guide at the Rodin Museum in "Midnight in Paris," which is expected in theaters next year.
The director also denied rumors that her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was displeased with his wife when he visited the set.
"He came to the set once. We gave him earphones to hear her. He was delighted with her. He said, `My wife is a natural actress. She's great.' He had a wonderful time," Allen said.
"I'm shocked at the wild and enormously prevalent, outrageous notions that circulate about Carla on television and the print press and magazines," Allen said. "I'm used to celebrity journalism, and I've had my share of untrue things printed. But this one was really one of the craziest."
Toronto International Film Festival: http://tiff.net