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Lucy Punch Breaks the First Rule of Making a Woody Allen Movie: ‘You Don’t Touch Woody’

Nicole Kidman, if you're reading this, Lucy Punch has a message for you: "I've never met her, but if I do, I’ll fall at her feet and say, 'Thank you so much!' because she, in a weird way, changed my life," the up-and-coming actress told us last night, following a screening of Woody Allen's new You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger at the Lambs Club at the Chatwal Hotel. In the movie, Punch plays a sex worker turned gold digger, a role Kidman was set to play until she had to back out owing to a scheduling conflict. "[The role is] completely against type," said Punch. "I’ve never played a super-sexual part before." But how to play a woman of easy virtue wasn't the only thing she learned on set.

"When I first met Woody, I was in full costume and I went up to him and was very excited to meet him and gave him this huge hug,” she told us. "And he went completely silent and totally stiff. And I was like, 'What have I done? I’m going to get fired.' And everyone’s like, 'You don’t touch Woody.' I was less demonstrative for the rest of the shoot."

Luckily, though, she had no problems being amorous with Anthony Hopkins, with whom she has kissing scenes in the film: "It was great," says Punch. "I don’t know how old he is — I think he’s in his 70s — but I think he’s a very attractive man."

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images