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Woody Allen has always had a knack for great casting and collaboration, so news that he would be working on a series for Amazon Prime surely meant that he’d find stellar actors to bring his characters to life. It was therefore a big surprise to some of us when Allen signed none other than former teenybopper Miley Cyrus to play the lead role. Cyrus just hasn’t had the type of career to this point that generally culminates in a prominent role in a Woody Allen project, but according to the man himself, Cyrus made an impression on him before they even met.
I noticed years ago that my kids would be watching Hannah Montana. And I would say: ‘Who is that girl? She’s got such a good delivery. You know, she snaps those lines so well. The show is a silly little show, but she’s very good at what she does.’ And then she emerged as a singer, and someone showed me a little clip of hers from Saturday Night Live and I said, ‘It confirms what I always thought about her: she is very good, she is a really talented girl.’
Woody Allen’s reveal to THR that Miley Cyrus first impressed him with her work on Hannah Montana is definitely unexpected. Honestly, the fact that Woody Allen has even heard of Hannah Montana, let alone watched enough of it to be impressed with the young star, is something of a shocker. Cyrus recently gave a rather morbid statement that Hannah has a special place in her heart despite being chopped up and buried in her backyard, but now that Hannah has gotten her cast in a Woody Allen project, I have to hope that the character has a slightly more special place in her heart now. Something tells me that twerking videos might not have given the famed director the same opinion of her potential as an actress.
Not too much is actually known about the Amazon project at this point aside from the fact that it's a domestic comedy taking place in the late 1960s. The original announcement from Amazon revealed that a full season of six half-hour episodes was ordered right off the bat, with Woody Allen set to both write and direct. Allen later came out and admitted that the series has been very hard for him as a big departure from his usual big screen ventures, but his enthusiasm for Miley Cyrus as the lead is encouraging after his more negative comments about the production process.
In addition to casting Miley Cyrus, Woody Allen also signed Elaine May on for a major role on the series. It’s an unlikely trio of talent, and only time will tell if Allen was correct all those years ago when he decided that the young Hannah Montana actress has the talent to headline his sort of project.
We likely won’t be seeing Woody Allen’s series on Amazon anytime too soon, so be sure to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to see what you’ll be able to watch in the meantime. And when you're done with that, consider the fact that Woody Allen hasn't seen Mad Men or Breaking Bad, but made a huge job decision based upon his time with a Disney comedy.