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Woody Allen and Owen Wilson appear in a still from Midnight in Paris. - Provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Woody Allen says he 'never considered' himself an artist

05/11/2011 by Olivia Allin

Woody Allen's latest film, "Midnight in Paris" launched the Cannes film festival on Wednesday with laughter and applause from notoriously hard-to-please critics.

But despite his fame and success with movies like "Manhattan," "Annie Hall" and "Sweet and Lowdown," the 75-year-old director says he doesn't consider himself an artist.

"I have never considered myself as an artist," Allen told the UK newspaper The Guardian. "I have aspired to be one, but I have never felt that I have the depth, substance or the gifts to be an artist. I do think I have some talent, yes; but I don't think it goes as far as being an artist, because if you think Kurosawa is an artist and Bergman is an artist, and Buñuel and Fellini, then it is as clear as a bell that I am not an artist."

Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams star in "Midnight in Paris," which tells the tale of an engaged couple, who travel to Paris and while McAdams gets charmed by the repugnant intellectual Paul, Gil (Wilson) wanders the streets of Paris and finds himself traveling back in time to the 1920s each night, to the very era he's romanticized.

"You know it's a big trap that thinking living in another time would be better," Allen told Reuters.

Allen says that the secret to his directorial success is in hiring talented people and, he jokes, taking the credit afterward.

"The secret is to hire great people, let them do what they do, don't interfere too much and then when they're great, take the credit. I've done this for many years and it works like a charm."

The film also stars Michael Sheen ("The Twilight Saga: New Moon," "30 Rock"), Marion Cotillard and Adrien Brody. Last November, Sheen was photographed holding hands with McAdams in Toronto, fueling rumors that the two were dating. The Welsh actor was previously married to actress Kate Beckinsale and recently appeared in "30 Rock" as Tina Fey's unwanted person to "settle" for.

French First Lady Carla Bruni also has a cameo in the film as a French museum guide and Allen says she agreed to the role over breakfast with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, admitting, "I would like to tell my grandchildren some day that I was in the movie."

According to Entertainment Weekly, Allen is looking to direct and star in his upcoming Rome-based film, "Bop Decameron" with actor Roberto Benigni, who is best known for his Oscar-winning role in "Life is Beautiful."

Watch a trailer for "Midnight in Paris" below.

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