"Happy Birthday to the love of my life...me!" Diane Keaton congratulated herself on her 77th birthday on Instagram this week. In addition, the Oscar winner posted a video with lots of cream cakes in which she serenaded herself. No neurotic ego posturing, the Hollywood star used to suffer from serious eating disorders and self-loathing. "It was obviously easier for me to torment myself than to love me" - "speech cures" would have helped her heal, Keaton told us in a very personal interview in 2014, with which we celebrate her again here.
Discussing loved ones who have passed can be tricky at times. Especially if you ask a Hollywood star about it. Diane Keaton listens patiently to questions and responds in a witty, sometimes irritated manner. She is loved by many viewers, and has been for decades. For this, the actress received the Golden Camera for her life's work in Berlin. Before that you were allowed to interview her, only on the phone, but at least 30 minutes.
WORLD ON SUNDAY: Good evening, Mrs. Keaton. May I ask you where you are sitting right now?
Diane Keaton: I don't sit, I walk. I walk around my house. (laughs) Stairs up, stairs down. I'm not a big sitter. You should be here with me in California, it's wonderfully sunny and by the way: It's warm, yes very warm.
WELT AM SONNTAG: In our mind, you don't actually belong in California, but in New York City. The city has shaped our image of you like no other: Diane Keaton and Manhattan belong together like the pantsuits and ties you wore.
Keaton: Yes! (laughs) Although I didn't invent this style. Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich were the first women to wear a tuxedo, I copied it from them. I always thought I didn't have a body for clothes.
WELT AM SONNTAG: What do you mean?
Keaton: Dresses need a body with curves. What else is the beautiful fabric supposed to do - just hang down boringly? So I just wore pants.
WELT AM SONNTAG: When women wear trousers today, men accuse them of being careerists and becoming masculine. What's wrong?
Keaton: Is that so? I don't know any men who say things like that. What are these guys? Talking about women like that isn't the best kind of man, is it? But back to New York and your picture of me: well, California is home to me. I was born and raised here. I have good memories of that time. In 1990 I came back here from New York. I love this area, everything about it. I love sitting in the car, the long highways here. to be on the go. However, I also love New York. I've lived in this goddamn city for 25 years. New York is still the best city of all cities.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Most of the films you made with Woody Allen play in New York. He and she were a couple for a long time. You once said that you could both sit in Central Park for hours and make fun of the people there. How can one imagine that, such a dialogue on the park bench?
Keaton: Between Woody and me? No idea. We're still friends, but I'm not sitting there with Woody anymore. before, yes Then we talked about the people there, how they looked, how they dressed: “Oh my god! Look over there. Madness!” And we enjoy this circus of life. We talked about the day, the blue sky, sometimes it was gray or it was blue-grey. We found that incredibly exciting. Everything that passed us there, and then we sat there with all our self-fixation, staring at the people and thinking about how busy we were with our own lives. And we said to ourselves, 'Oh God, how wonderful. It's like the zoo.”
WELT AM SUNDAY: Was Woody Allen your great love?
WELT AM SUNDAY: Mrs Keaton, are you still there?
Keaton: Yes, I'm here. i'm listening to you He was, yes... he was charming, loving, caring, he was generous. And he was weird. We had many interests in common, we loved art, we loved going for walks. Above all, we had the same sense of humor.
WELT AM SONNTAG: You and Allen have repeatedly described each other as neurotic. For example, as he once said, he can only take a shower if the drain is not in the middle of the tub.
Keaton: I always keep three alarm clocks on my bedside table. All set to the exact same time. And a sack full of cough drops.
WELT AM SONNTAG: How do you have to imagine the two of you as a neurotic couple? Does it cancel out that you find the balance together?
Keaton: That's exactly it. I couldn't have put it better myself. We were friends first and foremost. great friends If you get to know each other as friends and only develop love later, it works better.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Then why did you break up?
Keaton: Oh please! You must be joking. Are you seriously asking me why things end?
WELT AM SONNTAG: You once talked about it in detail in an interview in “Stern”.
Keaton: Write it down there, go ahead.
WELT AM SONNTAG: That is not appropriate. That interview is older, maybe your view of things has changed.
Keaton: Then rewrite it so it makes sense.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Let's try it differently: you said there that your relationship with Woody Allen was like that with an old sofa …
Keaton: We're friends today. We're on the phone, we're in contact. At this late stage of my life, friendship comes very close to love. Keeping friendships - which cannot be said of many romances. I don't know why that is either. But when you've been friends with someone for a very long time, it's like a bond. You care about each other, you know them, you can rely on each other. That counts for me.
WELT AM SONNTAG: "Vanity Fair" published an article last year in which Woody Allen was accused of sexually molesting one of his children. Did that worry you?
Keaton: Sorry I can't comment on that. I can't see that this coverage would have harmed him. Or that he would now go through life grief-stricken. I think he endured it all with a certain dignity. I don't want to say more about it.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Let's talk about you. In your autobiography "Back then Today" you not only talk about your life as a hippie girl and artist-muse, but also about the eating disorders you suffered from in your twenties. You write that you have never been good enough in your eyes, never beautiful, never slim enough.
Keaton: Yeah. And.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Woody Allen once said about you that living with you is like walking on eggshells. They are highly sensitive and vulnerable.
Keaton: Obviously I had serious problems. But what exactly do you want to know from me?
WELT AM SONNTAG: Where did your strong self-doubt come from?
Keaton: That's one of those typical journalist questions again: why does someone feel the way they feel? It's impossible to answer that. How should I know that? That's how I was born. You've probably suffered before, haven't you? People are either way too sensitive or not sensitive enough. Some are high achievers with inner insecurities, while others are overconfident and become assholes. I have no idea why I was the way I was. But I find one thing interesting.
WORLD ON SUNDAY: What?
Keaton: You're one of the few people who spoke to me about bulimia. Why didn't anyone else care? The only way I can explain it is that the number of people suffering from it has decreased. Perhaps this disease was a bigger problem for my generation than it is today. For me it was like this: I was never satisfied with myself. I always wanted to be better: more, further, the next. This has also transferred to my eating habits. Every bite gave me a new kick, the even better, the greater satisfaction. At some point my body was broken, the stomach overly acidic, you have cramps and you get cavities in your teeth. The period becomes more and more irregular. I went out less and less with people, isolated myself. Bulimia is like any addiction: you build higher and higher fences around yourself, totally excluding yourself. it's hell
WELT AM SONNTAG: That took you over five years, you describe it in your book: 20,000 calories a day, mountains of buttered muffins for breakfast, fried eggs with pancakes, and liters of cocoa. Each meal ended with Epsom salts, which you swallowed only to throw up again.
Keaton: Yeah, you're eating and throwing up. It was obviously easier for me to torment myself than to love myself. And yet, I made it. I got over bulimia. There are many, including men, who do not succeed. Millions of people struggle with some form of addiction. I also wrote my book for them to say to them: you are not alone. Very important. Therapy finally saved me.
WELT AM SONNTAG: What was the insight from your "repeats", as you called it?
Keaton: Admitting to myself, "Yes, I have this addiction." It sounds so simple, but you have to get there first. I had kept it a secret for years, from everyone, initially even from my therapist for a long time. Today I eat normally, albeit little. I don't feel like eating, which is a shame. Eating can be something very sensual.
WELT AM SONNTAG: To come back to Woody Allen: He never misses an opportunity to complain about age. Do you feel the same way?
Keaton: The good thing about getting old is that you didn't die young. You see, you never stop becoming something, even after you've become something. I enjoy many things in life. I experience very intensely with my eyes. Beauty, aesthetics are important to me. There is the eros of things, the eros lies in things. I like to write.
WELT AM SONNTAG: A colleague of yours, the German actress Martina Gedeck, said that actors would ruin their working basis if they injected Botox because they then often lost the expressiveness of their faces. Would you agree?
Keaton: No. This is total nonsense. Everyone takes Botox these days. Well, I don't like it for myself.
WELT AM SONNTAG: I didn't claim that either.
Keaton: I know, but to say who gets botox loses its expressiveness as an actor - that's ridiculous. This is really absurd.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Why does that upset you so much?
Keaton: Because I think everyone has the right to do what they think is right with their body. I don't want to judge whether such an intervention improves life or not. I am fundamentally against such forms of prejudice - because at some point they will become reality.
WELT AM SONNTAG: It used to be for actresses over 40: career over. Today there are many roles again, especially for older people, because this generation still goes to the cinema – unlike young people. Are the "Best Agers" like you the big beneficiaries of the cinema crisis?
Keaton: I don't see a crisis in cinema. I see it as an opportunity and a challenge: today we can tell and spread stories using multimedia, via cinema, television or digital media - that's a great development. And that Hollywood has also rediscovered the older actors, a nice side effect.
WELT AM SONNTAG: George Clooney once blasphemed that men could get fat, bald and wrinkled in old age, and nobody would care. This is more of a problem for women.
Keaton: That's not true. Whether men or women - it is equally difficult for everyone to get older. Not just in terms of movies, in terms of everything. Things just don't get any easier and at some point it's over for all of us.
WELT AM SONNTAG: In which film did you feel: "From now on I'm no longer one of the boys?"
Keaton: When you're 40, you start to realize that the body is aging and you have other roles to play. 40 is a limit, don't you agree?
WELT AM SONNTAG: Are you interviewing me? I'm not an actress, I can hide behind letters and words.
Keaton: But how do you feel as a person? Everyone turns 40. From that point on, a woman has to accept that she can no longer have children. This is a huge cut. But every age phase brings cuts with it. When you're twenty you're just thinking about growing up fast.
WELT AM SONNTAG: You were 20 when you refused to appear naked in the Broadway version of "Hair". Did you reject that in principle?
Keaton: No. I just didn't see any reason why I should undress in "Hair". Of course I would strip for a role if it made sense. You see, for me there are basically no limits in life. I don't think borders are good for anything.
This article was first published on February 2, 2014.