Diane Keaton Says It’s All Because of ‘Annie Hall’

Raechal Leone Shewfelt
Senior Editor
Diane Keaton is being honored with the AFI Life Achievement Award. (Photo: Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

If Diane Keaton’s life were ever made into a movie, the person she’d like to play her is…

Wait.

“First of all, that’s never gonna happen,” Keaton breaks in with her familiar voice during an interview with Yahoo Celebrity. “It’s not that big of a life, so I think that you’re insane. You’re sweet, but you’re insane, OK? No one’s going to do it. Moving on…”

Keaton, 71, laughs before continuing. “In order for me to get that, I’d have to, you know, burn down my house… I would have to really do something eventful to warrant that. I’d have to be a tragedy or the devil. All these horrible things… no, there’s not gonna be a movie about me. Ever.”

Well, whatever Keaton thinks, she has been a pretty big deal in Hollywood since her Oscar-winning role in 1977’s Annie Hall, earning three more Oscar nods and cranking out memorable movies, including Something’s Gotta Give, The First Wives Club, and The Godfather trilogy, along the way. Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Morgan Freeman, Reese Witherspoon, and Ellen DeGeneres are just a few of the A-listers who will be sitting in the audience when the American Film Institute honors Keaton with its Life Achievement Award tonight.

All of it, says the actress, can be attributed to her late parents, Dorothy and Jack Hall, but also to the breakout role, which was inspired by Keaton herself. She even suggests that this interview be titled “Because of Annie Hall.” It’s thanks to that Woody Allen favorite, Keaton insists, that she’s been able to continue working and to pursue her many interests besides acting: photography and writing, resulting in six published books and one upcoming book over the years; flipping houses (she just built her own); and fashion.

Diane Keaton still wears ensembles like the ones she wore in Annie Hall. (Photo: Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection)

Keaton is known for her unique menswear-inspired style, which often includes tailored suits and skirts with hats, scarves, and glasses, much like what she wore in — yep — Annie Hall.

“I’m basically a sports person. I’m not a glamour person,” Keaton says when asked about whose style she admires. “Right now, I’m most interested in Comme des Garçons, and also there’s a store called Egg in London. I’m interested in those clothes. But I remain interested in designers always. In the beginning it was Ralph Lauren, and that has lasted for a lifetime, because [of] his taking female clothing and turning it into great suits made out of tweed that had a more masculine flair. That gave us license to wear hats.”

When it comes to red carpet events, such as the AFI tribute, she prefers to choose her own ensembles after browsing online — she’s a big Pinterest user — and then making a trip to the store.

Diane Keaton attends a 2014 movie premiere. (Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF)

“I’ve [gone from] a tear-sheets person, which is now, like, passé, so now I’m on the Internet, and I look and see what kind of stuff I’d like to buy,” she explains. “I see the magazines. I like to look at what’s going on. I like the streets. I mean, here in L.A., I don’t have as much of a street. We don’t have a street flair, because you’re always in the car too much. So, if you go to London or New York, then I’m looking at the streets, what are people wearing?”

Something else she notices is impressive acting, such as Ryan Gosling’s performance in a certain L.A.-based musical from last year. He’s one of the few leading men she’d like to work with in the future, adding to a list of former co-stars that includes Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, and Harrison Ford.

“He’s brilliant,” Keaton, who has never wed but has been romantically linked to Al Pacino and Warren Beatty, in addition to Woody Allen, says of Gosling. “I mean, you saw. Didn’t you see La La Land? He’s a genius. He’s quick and smooth and slick… but great acting. Oh, God, could he have been better? Could he be better ever? I mean, this guy is great. I like Christian Bale too. He’s insane. I like all the actors. What’s not to like? Most of them are so great.”

The mother of two — daughter Dexter, 21, and son Duke, 16 — clearly has no plans to slow down. She’s attached to a comedy with Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen about a book club and has written a book about building her own home, The House That Pinterest Built, coming out in the fall, among other things.

But looking back over her career, is there anything Keaton wishes she would have known when she started out? Nope.

“I think that life is a process of discovery as you go along, all the way through,” Keaton says. “It’s never something that you expect. Every single decade is different. Every single day is different. So, no, I don’t wish I had known… That would have changed it. It wouldn’t have been as spontaneous, if I had known. I would have been plotting and scheming, instead of being surprised and shocked.”

Reminisce about your favorite Keaton movies when the AFI Life Achievement Award program airs June 15 at 10 p.m. on TNT.


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