“I hate when art becomes a religion. I feel the opposite. When you start putting a higher value on works of art than people, you’re forfeiting your humanity. There’s a tendency to feel the artist has special privileges, and that anything’s okay if it’s in the service of art. I tried to get into that in Interiors. I always feel the artist is much too revered——it’s not fair and it’s cruel. It’s a nice but fortuitous gift—like a nice voice or being left-handed. That you can create is a kind of nice accident. It happens to have high value in society, but it’s not as noble an attribute as courage. I find funny and silly the pompous kind of self-important talk about the artist who takes risks. Artistic risks are like show-business risks—laughable. Like casting against type, wow, what danger! Risks are where your life is on the line. The people who took risks against the Nazis or some of the Russian poets who stood up against the state—those people are courageous and brave, and that’s really an achievement. To be an artist is also an achievement, but you have to keep it in perspective. I’m not trying to undersell art. I think it’s valuable, but I think it’s overly revered. It is a valuable thing, but no more valuable than being a good schoolteacher, or being a good doctor. The problem is that being creative has glamour. People in the business end of film always say, I want to be a producer, but a creative producer. Or a woman I went to school with who said, Oh yes, I married this guy. He’s a plumber but he’s very creative. It’s very important for people to have that credential. Like if he wasn’t creative, he was less.”
From interview at The Paris Review, 1995.
Though I think the filmmakers let Woody off the hook regarding his personal life, if you’re a fan you’ll enjoy Woody Allen: A Documentary