May 31, 2023

One of Diane Keaton’s new favorite pastimes is walking alone and taking pictures of abandoned storefronts.

“You can see sadness, but you can also look at the efforts they made when they sold everything they sold,” she said in a telephone interview from her Los Angeles home. “One place will look like one, and another you could see that it had clothes or some kind of fashion. It’s fascinating to me.”

Keaton’s loneliness is broken through acting, which offers her opportunities to make friends and meet new people, including in her latest movie ‘Book Club: The Next Chapter’.

It is a sequel to the 2018 film ‘Book Club’ and reunites Keaton and her friends, played by Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen. This time, they emerge from quarantine for a trip to Italy, and the film is peppered with references to “The Alchemist,” Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel about a young shepherd in search of treasure and his “personal legend.”

“The movie is fine,” Keaton said. “I did what I could, you know, more or less.”

The 77-year-old Oscar-winning actress talked about Goodwill fashion, Miley Cyrus and tortillas. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

1

I have a whole room full of visual books. They are involved in a way that moves me. Someone recently sent me this amazing book of photos by Lee Friedlander, “Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen.” It just takes me back to what the world was like – our world, our country, our cities and people’s homes.

2

My interest in fashion goes back to my mother. When I was in high school, or even younger, and I got sucked into what people wore, there were other girls who had more money and could have clothes that I envied. My mother and I went to the Goodwill and bought old clothes – an old skirt, a blouse – and she made a better version of it.

3

My father loved the ocean. He would constantly bring us together to explore all sorts of places by the ocean. I’ve been trying to buy a beach house for almost a year now. It’s not like it would be a grand beach house, but everyone sticks to their houses. If you go to Laguna Beach, which I love, you can’t buy anything.

4

I had dinner with my kids last night, and we were all together, and my daughter’s husband was there. It’s just great that I get that chance. Even as a young adult, I desperately needed my mother and my father. When I had problems, they were there, both of them. I loved them. They were very much an active part of my life.

5

These are two very interesting young women taking over the music that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know a little bit. I love these two young women because they are both unique.

6

I have a golden retriever named Reggie. Someone gave me her as a present. Reggie has been a bad girl today. I’m so glad I have enough space in the backyard for her to just destroy all the plants. Right, Reg? I love that dog. There are things that take your heart and your breath away.

7

I like tortillas. I buy tortillas. Just the tortillas. I store a bunch of stuff in it and I eat it and love it. I love tortillas.

8

I’m more comfortable with comedy than drama. I like the mess of it and that it can happen to you and then you’re free to play.

9

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the theatre, but I like going to cinemas, and it was really interesting how it sort of fell apart, but now it’s coming back very slowly. I love that. I’m glad it’s coming back.

10

I have a huge wall of images I’ve cut from magazines or saved. Right now I’m looking at a photo I cut out of a Buster Keaton magazine. It’s so great. What a beautiful face. One is of a truck with a huge sign that these men are trying to hold that says in big letters: “Damaged”. Go figure.