Diane Keaton can say it with a straight face, “I never really became a big star.”
However disarmingly modest the “Annie Hall” Oscar winner wants to be, the Hollywood Awards begs to differ, and its 2005 career achievement is testament to Keaton’s four-decade career.
She made her Broadway debut with the 1960s rock musical “Hair” and quickly segued to making a slew of film classics, from “The Godfather” trilogy to “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” “Mrs. Soffel,” “Reds,” “The First Wives Club,” “Something’s Gotta Give” and the new comedy-drama “The Family Stone.”
In addition to acting, Keaton has been a style setter, photographer, producer (the Cannes-winning “Elephant”), director and painter. For all those accomplishments, she likes to insist, “Let’s get real. I sort of got lucky in some ways because I ran into a real good thing, obviously, with Mr. (Woody) Allen.”
Having her praises sung is enough to curdle her constitution. “It’s just a little bit much,” she explains. “When you hear these things about yourself, that you were this and you were that, you’re just going, ‘Oh, no. I don’t really think so.’ ”
But enough modesty. Unlike her idol Katharine Hepburn, who never appeared in person to accept any of her four Oscars, Keaton will not eschew the Hollywood Awards on Oct. 24. “You bet I’m going to show up!” she says. “You know, once in my life I got a lifetime career achievement award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.” She has to think to recall. “Like about, I guess now about seven years ago. But this is very exciting — right here in our town. Hollywood. It’s kind of dreamy.”
Many stars demand some kind of input regarding the film clips chosen to illustrate their careers. Keaton, however, is ready to be surprised. “They didn’t ask me anything. They didn’t really want my opinion,” she says with a laugh.
She laughs again when asked how she feels looking at her old movies. “When I look back?” she asks in near disbelief. “I never do look back. Oh, no. I don’t go back and revisit those old movies. No, if I see them on TV I go, ‘Click.’ “