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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

It's a topic Woody Allen rarely discusses in detail, but the writer-director recently opened up about his relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn and discussed the "paternal" element that brought them together.

FILES - A picture taken on May 15, 2015 shows US director Woody Allen (L) and his wife Soon-Yi arriving for the screening of the film "Irrational Man" at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France. Allen has given a rare interview and made even rarer remarks about his controversial marriage to the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend. "I'm 35 years older and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked," he told National Public Radio of his wife Soon-Yi, calling him "paternal" in their relationship. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOISBERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty ImagesBertrand Langlois / AFP - Getty Images

"I've been married now for 20 years, and it's been good," the 79-year-old told NPR. "I think that was probably the odd factor that I'm so much older than the girl I married. I'm 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy."

Allen's relationship with Previn came to light during his 1992 split from longtime partner Mia Farrow, Previn's now-estranged mother, who found intimate photos of her daughter in his possession.

According to Allen, despite the serious origins of their relationship, he never expected it to be more than a "fling."

epa04750451 US director Woody Allen (R) and his wife Soon Yi (L) attend the 'Irrational Man' Party during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, 15 May 2014. The movie was presented out of competition at the festival which runs from 13 to 24 May. EPA/FRANCK ROBICHONFranck Robichon / EPA

"I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling, it wouldn't be serious," he explained. "But it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more. Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it."

As for the age difference between him and Previn, who's now 44, Allen said it "didn't seem to matter."

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