EXCLUSIVE: Diane Keaton on men, family and her eating disorder
The Oscar-winning actress, now starring in ‘Poms’, her 58th film, reflects on men, fame, family and the siren call of Instagram
She’s won an Oscar, dated an array of famous men, raised two kids (daughter Dexter, 23, and son Duke, 18), written two memoirs and has a third on the way. She’s also still starring in films at an age when many actresses have been sidelined. But if you ask Diane Keaton what she’s learned in her 73 years, she rolls her eyes.
“I don’t know anything, and I haven’t learned,” she insists. “Getting older hasn’t made me wiser.”
Sitting for an interview in the sunny living room of her stylish Brentwood, Los Angeles home, Keaton drives home that point. Her fear of flying? It hasn’t got better. Her belief in her own abilities? “Without acting I would have been a misfit.” And don’t even get her started on learning to love her looks. In her new movie Poms, she plays a woman who starts a pep squad at her retirement home – and Keaton is not happy about that cheerleader skirt. ”I look terrible!” she says. “My legs are good up to the knees, and then it all falls apart. Terrible!"
Self-deprecation has been her shtick at least since 1977’s Annie Hall, but it’s no act. Still, you can’t spend an afternoon with Keaton and not see that underneath all the doubting, she’s both tough and wise.
“I knew what I wanted in life, and I went after it,” she says. “Being a person who always knew simplifies things – it’s hard to find your way if you don’t."
Below, more Keaton-esque words to live by.
FRIENDLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS
When I was a kid, there was this greeter in Laguna Beach who used to stand on the corner waving to everybody and saying, “Oh, hi, welcome.” Now I feel like that greeter. I feel like you have no business being anything but friendly. If anyone comes up to me, wanting to take a picture or something, I always do it, because why wouldn’t I? We’re all in this world together.
KINDNESS TO ANIMALS – AND INSECTS – MATTERS TOO
As you get older, you’re more aware of the living creatures in your surroundings. Birds fly in here quite often, and I make sure the windows are open so we can get them out. Also bugs – I don’t want to kill bugs. And I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years. I’m a gas guzzler, I’m a creep in so many ways – I can at least do that.
YOU DON’T NEED MARRIAGE TO HAVE A FULFILLING LIFE
Today I was thinking, “I’m the only one in my generation of actresses who has been a single woman all her life.” I’m really glad I didn’t get married. I’m an oddball. I remember in high school, this guy came up to me and said, “One day you’re going to make a good wife.” And I thought, “I don’t want to be a wife. No.”
BEING A PARENT IS HARD … BEING A KID MIGHT BE HARDER
It isn’t easy to be a 50-year-old woman who adopts. I had to learn a lot, and that was good for me – I hope it was good for them. It can’t be easy to be adopted by an old mother who’s an actress. Everybody’s looking at me and not at them. So I don’t think that’s easy at all. But I love them. They’re my life.
AGEING IN HOLLYWOOD IS HARD, BUT COSMETIC SURGERY ISN’T A MUST
I haven’t had surgery, and I never felt pressured to. But I had my teeth capped. They were rotten because of the bulimia [I had in my 20s]. That’s the best thing about my face – my teeth have gotten better.
You can read the rest of the article in this week's WHO magazine