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Screen legend Diane Keaton opens up about age, marriage and Hollywood

Javier Tovar

Agence France-Presse

Los Angeles, United States  /  Thu, May 9, 2019  /  11:02 am
Screen legend Diane Keaton opens up about age, marriage and Hollywood

US actress Diane Keaton attends the premiere of STX Entertainment's 'Poms' in Los Angeles on May 1, 2019. (AFP/Robyn Beck)

Diane Keaton claims to be one of the fortunate ones: as the screen legend reflects on age, marriage, and nearly half a century of working in Hollywood, she says that she's never felt sexually harassed.

"Never. Maybe I just wasn't harassment material," said Keaton, who has 68 screen credits since her 1970 debut in the comedy Lovers and Other Strangers.

The 72-year-old's big screen appearances include The Godfather ( 1972 ) and its sequels, two Father of the Bride movies in the 1990s with Steve Martin and Something's Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson ( 2003 ), for which she won a Golden Globe.

But the actress truly made her mark co-starring in eight Woody Allen movies, from Play in Again Sam ( 1972 ) to Manhattan Murder Mystery ( 1993 ).

She won her best actress Oscar for starring in Annie Hall ( 1977 ) with Allen and was nominated a further three times.

Keaton and Allen were lovers for a time, and when they broke up they remained friends and work partners.

As the Hollywood sexual harassment scandals detonated in late 2017, cascading from producer Harvey Weinstein to heavyweight actors like Kevin Spacey, old accusations of child sex abuse against Allen by his adoptive daughter Dylan resurfaced.

"Woody Allen is my friend and I continue to believe him," Keaton tweeted in January 2018.

For all her confidence and bravado, Keaton preferred simply not to talk about the controversial actor and director -- and did not answer a question about whether she'd work with him again.

Read also: Putting sex in sexagenarian: Madonna still shocks at 60

Age and love

Keaton's last two movies are about aging women: Book Club ( 2018 ), with its message that love has no age, and now Poms, set to open on Friday in the United States and Canada.

Poms is the story of Martha, a terminally ill woman who moves to a retirement community to die, but winds up forming a cheerleading squad made up of female senior citizens.

As for aging, Keaton says that life actually gets easier.

"I think so, because 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," she said.

Keaton is less certain about spending her final years in a retirement home, but she definitely wouldn't be a cheerleader like Martha in Poms.

"I was never a dancer... and cheerleading is really basically dancing," she said.

She auditioned for a school cheerleading squad when she was 14 but didn't make the cut.

"Really my heart was in performing on stage," she said.

Keaton is familiar with the environment, having volunteered in her 30s at a Jewish retirement home, and she has a brother -- the subject of a book she has just finished -- at an assisted living facility. "So I know about them, I've been around," she said.

Read also: Woody Allen: prolific film legend stained by scandal

"I'm not unhappy"

Keaton, who enjoys photography when she isn't acting, in no rush to retire. "I don't think of it," she said.

If the Hollywood work offers dry up, "I have a lot of hobbies that are very time-consuming that I love. I'll address those and those will be my work.

"I have no intention of stopping any kind of work whatsoever," she said.

Keaton, who had long romances with screen legends like Al Pacino, Beatty and Allen, has two adopted children but never married.

"I wonder if I'm the only single woman of my age who's been in film who hasn't gotten married, so I might be a freak," she said.

"Most people in the movies get married at some point and then they divorce. But I've never even got married. I am failure," she joked.

Does she regret it? "I don't think about it a lot but I'm aware of the fact that I'm unusual in that regard, and maybe I did miss out on something -- but then, nobody can have everything, right?"

"I'm not unhappy," she said.