Tracey Ullman is in a class by herself, but when it comes to working with Woody Allen she's just like any other actor. The two team up in Allen's latest comedy, Small Time Crooks, and Ullman tells TV Guide Online that working with the quirky auteur provided her the freedom actors crave.

"As every actor says ? it's become a cliché now ? he lets you do what you can do. It's not about how glamorous you are. It's about the right person for the right part. I like that he celebrates the loser. That's a very British thing."

Ullman got to add her own touches to her character's eccentricities. "I put a Biore nose strip on my nose [in one scene] and Woody asked, 'What are they?' I said, 'Trust me. Every woman in America knows what these are. It pulls blackheads out of your nose.' Things like that you sort of acquaint Woody with because he's not into Biore nose strips. Soon-Yi said, 'Woody! You don't know what a Biore nose strip is?' "

Despite the fun she had, Ullman is sticking to TV. "Sometimes making movies is a torture for me. My TV work has been so fulfilling for me and I get to have so much control." Another season of her Emmy-winning HBO series (Tracey Takes On...) is in the works, and she'll have even more creative control this time around. "I'm moving into directing. When you've been a sex symbol like myself, you get to 40 and think, 'It's time to direct others.' I like running the whole shebang."

The bad news is that we probably won't see her on Ally McBeal again. "I think I've run my course on that. It was nice to visit." Say it ain't so!