Actress Diane Keaton has a new memoir out, “Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty.” In it she goes over her now familiar history: her love affairs with Warren Beatty, Al Pacino and Woody Allen, for example. She talks, too, about aging and about one blog writer’s comment that was hurtful: “…this chick [is] old as dirt and they still try to give her sexy roles.” (”Diane Keaton: The Art of Being Yourself,” by Margot Dougherty, More, May 2014 pg. 75.)
I’m not surprised Keaton was devastated by the blogger’s remark. Who wouldn’t be? Fortunately, she let that hurt go and responded with remarkable candor about her mistakes. Adoring Al Pacino was one of them. “Never fall in love with the Godfather. Never stumble over a dark knight with shadowy beauty and deep talent.” (Ibid. pg. 77)
Always gracious, even to her detractors, Keaton admits she is old as dirt but she’s used the time to accumulate wisdom. “For those of us who’ve been separated from reality by fame, being old is a great leveling experience. (Ibid, pg. 125.) “Maybe” she goes on, “letting go is the only graceful thing to do. (Ibid. pg. 77).
Happily, for those of us who are Keaton fans “letting go” doesn’t mean giving up her acting career. Two films are currently in the works: And So It Goes, with Michael Douglas and Life Itself with Morgan Freeman. Not bad for someone who is as old as dirt.
By letting go, Keaton means being comfortable in your skin and aware there are other measures of beauty besides a flawless complexion. It’s difficult to convince someone young that when physical beauty fades, a more lasting one rises from its ashes… if one has the courage to be honest with oneself; if one can accept being hurt by others and not be damaged by the blow. Keaton has that kind of fortitude and grace. That’s why, for me, she’ll always be amazing just as dirt is amazing because no matter how often it is walked upon, it endures.
(Diane Keaton picture courtesy of www.express.co.uk)