Larry David takes acting turn for Woody Allen

Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:53pm EDT
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By Mark Egan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - While many A-list stars list Woody Allen as the director they most want to work with, comedian Larry David was not fawning for a chance to collaborate with the creator of such hits as "Annie Hall," "Manhattan" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

"It wasn't really a burning ambition. Acting is not the top of my list of things to do," said David, who made his name as co-creator and writer of the hit 1990s sitcom "Seinfeld" and now improvises a self-caricature in the HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Indeed, the 61-year-old said he thought Allen was making a mistake by casting him in Allen's new film, "Whatever Works."

"I was a little intimidated at first, I didn't want to be the guy to screw up Woody Allen's movie," David said, insisting he is not really an actor at all. "I called him up and I said, 'I think you are making a mistake.'"

While David calls the movie a Woody Allen "gem" and insists he is "very pleased and satisfied" with it, few critics agree.

"On the plus side, Allen avoids the creepy ventriloquist effect of a younger actor mouthing his words and intonations by choosing as raucously individualistic a performer as David," Variety wrote of the film, which opens on Friday.

"But by forcing David, a total improviser who rarely delivers scripted lines, to incant impossibly long monologues ... Allen the director loses sight of what works."

David has completed filming and is now editing the seventh season of his television show "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which starts up on HBO in September. He said he does not know if this season will be its last.   Continued...

<p>Writer and actor Larry David, who stars in the new film by director Woody Allen "Whatever Works" poses for photographs in New York, June 11, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>