Academy Award winner Diane Keaton has created some of the most distinctive roles in many of the most popular movies in the last thirty years including Annie Hall, The Godfather, Reds, Marvin’s Room and Looking for Mr. Goodbar.
In her new comedy Morning Glory she portrays Colleen Peck, a long-time morning host who is brought in to save the ratings of Daybreak, the last-place morning news program in America. Problem is, she has to co-anchor with Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), a pompous newscaster who hates the banality of morning TV.
What was it about this movie that intrigued you?
I’ve made a lot of movies now in my life and ever single time what attracts me to them is the same: the script – and Aline (Brosh McKenna, The Devil Wears Prada) wrote a fantastic one. It’s funny, it’s touching and there’s something so human about it.
My character Colleen Peck is the kind of woman you love to hate. She’s narcissistic, she’s vain, she’s superficial and all she cares about is if she’s going to stay on television. She’d do anything to stay on television. She’d sell her own mother! I think, in the end, she just wants to please the audience.
Did you base Colleen on anyone specific?
All I cared about was how I looked! It was Diane Sawyer, because I did an interview with her for a different movie, and I remember I was looking at her and I got mesmerized by her face. I don’t know what we were talking about, so I just said, ‘You are beautiful.’ And she is; it was really amazing. And then I said, ‘It’s a shame, I had to work hard on my personality unfortunately, and you have this amazing face.’
What was it like acting with Harrison Ford?
When Harrison walks in a room it’s like Mt. Rushmore just came in. He’s the most iconic man. He’s like nobody else. I think this is also one of his greatest roles. He’s tough, cynical, mean, contemptuous, impossible … and also charming and hilarious. We might not get along in the movie but, of course, I have a huge crush on him.
You have great scenes with Harrison some with fast-paced dialogue.
These are the kinds of scenes you yearn to play all your life, where you start out with charming banter that turns into verbal warfare. What could be more fun than fighting with Harrison Ford?
I’m also a big fan of really big physical comedy and I had some great opportunities to make a fool of myself here. I have some scenes where I get to sing with Mr 50 Cent and, while my daughter was humiliated by that, I thought it was the most fun I’ve ever had.
On the very first day of shooting, I had to wear this giant fat suit and wrestle with a sumo wrestler. I like to approach physical comedy by just winging it, but winging it can also get you into trouble. Here I was with this 500-pound man who was very nice and polite and all I had to do was touch him and suddenly … I fell over and hit the ground! So, I guess you can’t always wing it with a sumo wrestler.
Can you talk a little more about rapping with 50 Cent?
Don’t you think I have a future? My moves were every bit as good as his. It was so much fun. Music is fun, I wanted to be a singer, in case you wanted to know the story of my life. That was my favorite thing to do.
What was Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill) like to work with as a director?
I’ve never worked with anyone quite like him because he’s not afraid of opinionated people. He listens to everyone’s thoughts, he respects them and then he goes off and makes his own choices about what works best. You know you’re in good hands with Roger
Do you watch these shows in the morning?
I’m a creature of habit, so I immediately turn on CNN, it’s just automatically where I go to. I love watching it and I’m a big proponent of CNN. I love Anderson Cooper!