Woody Allen, who's made a career of depicting Manhattan in films, said Thursday he was "terribly shocked, but not really surprised" by the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The actor-writer-director, in Rome to promote his new movie, praised President Bush for his handling of the situation.

"It does seem that the president, whom I was certainly very critical of before he was elected ... has got a good grasp on the problem," Allen said, adding that the Bush administration seems to understand that "this is not just a military problem, but a social, economic and political problem."

Allen said he was in New York during the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"We knew that no country in the world, no city in the world was immune (from terrorism). We didn't expect that New York City would be immune," said Allen.

"But we were shocked by the irrationality of the act itself ... the senseless murder of 5,000 people."

The 65-year-old Brooklyn native is promoting The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, which is set in New York like many of his other films, including 1979's Manhattan and 1994's Bullets Over Broadway.