WOODY ALLEN was banned from casting WINONA RYDER and ROBERT DOWNEY JR for his 2002 movie MELINDA AND MELINDA, because no-one would insure the troubled stars.

Ryder had only just been convicted of felony grand theft for shoplifting from a California department store and Downey Jr. was still recovering from drug addiction - and insurance companies ruled them too risky. Will Ferrell and Radha Mitchell were cast instead. Allen makes the revelation in a new book Conversations With Woody Allen - which is due out in October (07).

He says, "I couldn't get insurance on them... We couldn't get bonded. The completion bonding companies would not bond the picture unless we could insure them."

Copyright 2007 WENN

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