Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist

Diane Keaton Interview -

Daily Express Interview

She's inscrutable and arguably only Garbo was rather more reclusive than Diane Keaton is today.

The ‘Annie Hall' image -- fluttery, vulnerable and astonishingly adorable -- never fully faded despite a string of strong ,serious films. It was as if she had cloned her character the better to protect herself.It's worked.

She remains the quirky, quicksilver free spirit Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino fell in love with but that line-up of private life eading men tells us much about the Keaton enigma. None of them easy-going Mr Keaton types. When she's asked why she's never married she sighs:'I've always had trouble with relationships.' But -- apart from with her analysts -- she rarely talks to anyone about her personal life.

She's still close toWoody Allen who guided her to an Oscar in ‘Annie Hall' and into roles of neurotic and troubled women in ‘Interiors' and ‘Manhattan'.And to the now married Beatty who asked her advice when he was editing ‘Dick Tracy'. And to Pacino to whom she played the reluctant Mafia spouse Kay in the ‘Godfather' trilogy. She'll talk about him as an actor in those films:' Pacino was great. I was background music.'

She played a much stronger role in their relationship when Pacino moved into her home in the Hollywood Hills in preparation for ‘Gofather 3'. Even the ecentric Pacino was amazed by Keaton's plans to create her own I-want-to-be-alone hideaway in the home dug out of Tinseltown hillside.

Her home -- originally built in 1920 for silent screen idol Ramon Novarro by Frank Lloyd Wright's son Lloyd -- has been completely restored and remodelled over the past three years. It's like crazy paving with a split level entrance hall and the building itself a sheer shoot into the sky from the lower street below.

The actress brought in architect Josh Schweitzer and with the help of endless meetings, early morning ‘phone calls and faxed drawings they worked together to create what is now Keaton's castaway castle.

Their aim was to design a home with the feel of the Roarin' Twenties but to also be 1990s Sunset Boulevard hip. Keaton offered ideas with pictures of coloured rock gardens and giant globes. At one crucial point in the planning she was on location with Pacino in Sicily for ‘ Godfather 3' and ideas and images were constantly being faxed to her. She debated every move. She doesn't decide easily.

Diane Keaton's personality is all over the house . Some might say it's all over the place but in this home burrowed out of high-rise hill she's created a cocoon for herself.

She doesn't want to be noticed. In the newspaper advertisements for Warren Beatty's Oscar-winning movie ‘Reds' a scene showed Beatty and Keaton embracing. She asked that only the back of her head be seen.

She clearly is not a fame game player. Doesn't she enjoy being famous?

‘I think I like to deny it. It suits me to deny it. It's more comfortable for me to deny it but I suppose that's another one of my problems. Look, I don't think it's such a big deal.

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