Diane Keaton on being an oddball and why she’s glad she never got married

At 73, the star still dares to be different.
Diane Keaton

Right from the beginning, Diane Keaton has been labelled the “different” actress – the oddball, the weirdo, the eccentric.

“They used to call me the ‘kooky’ one,” she says.

More than 40 years on and 58 films later, the Oscar winner reckons she hasn’t changed much.

Never married, she thinks she might be the only actress of her era who hasn’t taken the plunge, but she recalls thinking even as a child that being someone’s wife just wasn’t for her.

“I wonder if I’m the only single woman of my age who’s been in film who hasn’t gotten married,” she muses.

“I might be a freak. Most people in the movies get married at some point and then they divorce. But I’ve never even gotten married. I’m a failure!

“But I’m really glad I never got 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.'”

Diane with former lover Warren Beatty in 1978.

With no regrets – “I’m not unhappy, nobody can have everything, right?” – and still determined to do things her way, Diane has carved an unconventional path through Hollywood, raking in plum roles, awards and recognitions in the process.

She adopted two children – daughter Dexter (23) and son Duke (18) – and dated some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights, including Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino.

Marriage is optional but love is a necessity, she says, though in hindsight, she realises that she was “seduced by talent”.

“When I was young, I was looking to be loved by these extraordinary people. When you’re both doing the same job, it’s not so great. I should have found a nice human being, kind of a family guy.”

She adds, “I have kissed some great guys in films. They have to pretend they like you!”

At the age of 73, she has no plans to stop acting, with her latest film Poms in cinemas now.

It’s about a terminally ill woman who moves into a nursing home to die but ends up forming a cheerleading team with some of its residents.

It’s a topic Diane is sadly familiar with – her brother Randy (71) suffers from dementia and resides in an assisted living facility. Diane visits him every Sunday, but isn’t sure he still recognises her.

“He always had mental issues,” she tells. “Nobody could figure it out, really.”

The new film, which also stars Rhea Perlman, Pam Grier and Jacki Weaver, is in a similar vein to her previous flick Book Club, which celebrated ageless love and friendship, and Diane is determined to celebrate the privilege that is getting older.

“Life gets easier!” she laughs. “What have you got to lose? It’s like, it’s the truth. That’s what it is. You face it, we talk about it.”

Diane suggested Andy Garcia for the role of her love interest in Book Club after working with him in The Godfather part III.

Her advancing years haven’t stopped her from embracing the new and technological.

At the age of 70, the actress was stunned when she found herself as something of an Instagram star, after she started posting photos of her daily outfits.

Now closing in on one million followers, a slightly flummoxed Diane says the social medium is fun.

“I love Instagram!” she gushes. “But how many days can I post pictures of my outfit? That came out of nowhere. It becomes an obsession. You keep checking on how many followers you have.”

And is there still hope for love on the horizon? Well, apart from a huge crush on Chris Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow’s ex-husband and the lead singer of Coldplay – “He’s gorgeous, that face gets better with time,” she says with an emphatic nod – she reckons she’s pretty much shut up shop, and that includes her sex life.

“It’s gone, I don’t participate in that!”

Still, she has plenty to keep her busy, and although there’s an abundance of film work coming her way, the actress also has a huge range of hobbies.

There’s Instagram, of course, and she’s also a keen amateur photographer and has somewhat of an addiction to real estate – she estimates she’s bought and sold almost 50 homes since she arrived in New York as a 19-year-old.

“I’m building a house right now and I think that’s my biggest revelation. It just never stops!”

And, judging by a riotous recent appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ chat show, having as much fun as she possibly can also ranks highly in the priorities list.

When asked the top three things she likes to drink, Diane responded, “Alcohol, more alcohol and wine!”

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