We meet near her home in a hotel overlooking the beach in Santa Monica, California, to discuss her latest film, The Big Wedding – a comedy about love and relationships which prompts her to reflect on the big relationships in her own life.
So I looked at her and thought, “That will never happen to me.” 'But you know what?
It has happened.’ Warming to her theme, she continues, ‘I’m an old maid.’ Triumphantly, she repeats it, ‘I am an OLD MAID.’ She roars with laughter.
‘That concept is such nonsense – the idea that if you never marry you’re destroyed.
‘I remember Woody saying, “Living with you is like walking on eggshells.”’ Why did he say that? ” “I didn’t get the part.”’ I guess that’s why you were so perfect for his films.
‘Yes,’ says Keaton, with a laugh: ‘Neurotic.’ Keaton is fun to meet. It’s so absurd the way the mind works.’ When she was younger, says Keaton, she longed for marriage.
One gets the impression that, unusually for an interviewee, she actually enjoys talking. ‘I remember watching [the actress] Myrna Loy being interviewed and somebody said, “It’s too bad you’re not married anymore.” And she said, “I don’t want to be married anymore – not at all.” 'And I remember thinking, “How sad, how could anybody come to that?
T he only problem is trying to keep her on track as she lunges down conversational side alleys and stream-of-consciousness musings – like this random piece of information when we are discussing marriage: ‘When I was 14 this girl called Leona Kramer told me that intercourse was like going to the bathroom backwards. ” I was in the prime of my life, you’re biologically driven in some way, you can’t help it, you’re an animal.
But he’s got a big family life and I don’t really run with his crowd.’ Of all the men in her life, it is Allen who seems to have had the most lasting impact.
He becomes a leitmotif of our conversation – she refers to him at least six times, always with warmth.