Despite the several books she wrote, Diane Keaton doesn’t kiss-and-tell. Born Diane Hall in California in 1946, she became the ultimate New Yorker thanks to movies like The Godfather, Annie Hall or Manhattan. But that hasn’t stopped her from spreading her wings away from Hollywood, looking for love in Europe where she worked on her most recent project, the romantic comedy Hampstead, alongside Brendan Gleeson. Always charming, always eclectic, always interesting, the nine-time Golden Globe nominee and twice winner reveals to the HFPA her global view of the world, her best kiss and her idea for the next Annie Hall.
You are such an American icon that is a surprise to see you in a romantic comedy in London.
I love London! I can easily imagine myself living in London! Except for the weather! It’s so annoying to me! No matter how the day starts, invariably it will rain. Always. All the time. But I love the city. It’s a treasure. And the experience of working in Europe was priceless.
Looks like only in Europe they are open to making movies for all ages like Hampstead.
I would say that too. And that says a lot about London, about England, about Europe. What can I say? It’s good. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. And they are not afraid of showing it on the screen.
Were you afraid of getting back in bed and have some sex scenes now that you are in your 70s?
Let me tell you something: It’s always fun to kiss a man. There is no problem with that and my so-called sex scene... it was a very brief scene. All we did was kissing and it was very lovely. Brendan Gleeson is a fantastic man. Big Irish guy. Just lovable. And a very generous actor.
What has it changed with age?
Here is the deal. What’s fantastic about having a romantic scene with a man at any age is that it’s always safe. It’s not really who you are. I always enjoy that aspect of my career. Including all the men that I had the good fortune to be with, to kiss in a movie.
A favorite one?
Not sure if it’s my favorite but there was one with Mel Gibson for Mrs. Soffel that was very fun. That’s for sure. I remember that kiss. Mel Gibson was 26 I think. And I was 40 or almost. And we rolled in the snow. It was crazy. I was freezing and suddenly you are kissing Mel Gibson. It was fun.
This has been a year full of memories. First The Godfather reunion for the 45 anniversary. Then the AFI gala…
I know... Wasn’t it strange?
Are you ok with looking back?
It’s a mixed bag because you feel kind of embarrassed and fortunate at the same time. It’s too good to be true. You go through all the feelings... shocked and a kind of sad because it’s over but also feeling honored by all these people that spoke on my behalf. It was very, very meaningful but it was very embarrassing at the same time.
At this point in your life, are you full of nostalgia or the best is yet to come?
That’s a very good question because... what’s the best? I hope it will continue to be a growing experience as it has been so far and as productive as it has been in the past. But do I know? I don’t know. That’s the thing about being older, the time is running out and you are aware of that so there is a bittersweet aspect of everything. But of course, that adds to the wonder of life. Because you are more aware of what there is and what there isn’t. You are more aware of what’s wrong. So no denying it’s richer but also more puzzling, eerier and sad and fantastic at the same time. Being older heightens everything.
This year we talked a lot about women empowerment but for many of us, Annie Hall was the woman we wanted to be. Why do you think she is still so important in our minds?
Don’t you think that Emma Stone is all we loved in Annie Hall? Don’t you think that La La Land is as important? Each generation has a movie or man or a woman that tells a story of their time. And, in a way, that was Annie Hall in the 70s. But it’s an ongoing conversation.