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Blake Lively: ‘Cafe Society’ Director Woody Allen Is ‘Very Empowering’

Blake Lively and director Woody Allen attend the Amazon Studios “Cafe Society” press luncheon during the 69th annual Cannes film festival on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, France.

Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BCG

She’s in his corner! Blake Lively is going above and beyond defending her Café Society director, Woody Allen. In a new interview with Hamptons magazine, Lively asserts that she finds the controversial Hollywood legend to be “empowering.”

“It’s really cool to work with a director who’s done so much, because he knows exactly what he wants,” the 28-year-old actress told the magazine. “The fact that he does one shot for an entire scene — [and] this could be a scene with eight people and one to two takes — it gives you a level of confidence because when he’s got it, he knows he’s got it.”

The Shallows star, who is expecting her second child with husband Ryan Reynolds, also gushed about Allen’s ability to instill confidence in his actors.

“He also is really encouraging as to why he cast you, so he’ll say, ‘Say the dialogue that’s written and then you can improvise for a while.’ And his dialogue is so specific, and it’s speaking in a 1930s dialect and [with period] references, so it’s intimidating to think, ‘Oh, let me just improvise there and hope that my words blend seamlessly alongside Woody Allen’s.’ Which they clearly wouldn’t and don’t. But he’s very empowering.”

Last month, Lively spoke out against comedian Laurent Lafitte, who made a controversial rape joke at Allen’s expense during the opening ceremony at the Cannes film festival. Even though the 80-year-old director wasn’t offended, she was.

“I think any jokes about rape, homophobia or Hitler is not a joke,” she told Variety at a Cannes film festival event on Thursday, May 12. “I think that was a hard thing to swallow in 30 seconds. Film festivals are such a beautiful, respectful festivals of film and artists and to have that, it felt like it wouldn’t have happened if it was in the 1940s. I can’t imagine Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby going out and doing that. It was more disappointing for the artists in the room that someone was going up there making jokes about something that wasn’t funny.”

Allen, meanwhile, brushed off Lafitte’s off-color joke.

“I am completely in favor of comedians making any jokes they want to,” he told Variety. “I am a non-judgmental or [non]-censorship person on jokes. I’m a comic myself and I feel they should be free to make whatever jokes they want. It would take a lot to offend me.”

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