Well, Diane Keaton has published a memoir titled, Then Again, and it sounds more interesting than the average Hollywood autobiography, and even her “food issues” (is there any actress who doesn’t have “food issues”?) seem more interesting than some, at least the way she tells it.
The story goes that while she was dating Woody Allen she heard another actress say that bulimia was a terrific way of staying thin, and she threw herself into it with abandon; putting 20,000 calories a day into her mouth, though never letting them be digested.
Her daily intake sounds truly extraordinary: for breakfast a dozen buttered corn muffins, fried eggs with bacon, pancakes and four glasses of chocolate milk. Lunch - three steaks with baked potatoes and sour cream, apple pie and two chocolate sundaes with extra nuts. Dinner: a bucket of KFC, several orders of French fries with blue cheese and ketchup, a couple of TV dinners, chocolate-covered almonds, a bottle of 7Up, a pound of peanut brittle, M&Ms, a Sara Lee pound cake, and three banana-cream pies. Oh yes, and some mango juice.
The ever-perceptive Woody Allen was impressed by her appetite, and seems not to have thought there was anything strange about it, though of course he did send her off to a shrink anyway to deal with her “insecurity.”
“The demands of bulimia outshone the power of my desire for Woody. Pathetic, but true,” she writes. And then one day, according to the book, when she was 25, she just stopped, and has been just fine ever since.
I mention this (and only partly in the cause of shameless name dropping) because I once had dinner alongside Diane Keaton, and it seemed to me that she scarcely ate anything at all, just played with a plate of salad, and she had a glass of red wine with ice in it. I, meanwhile, was tucking into steak tartare and O’Brien potatoes and I felt a bit of a savage.
However, Dian Keaton did say (and the way she said it, it didn’t seem to have been all that long ago) she’d been at a State Fair and eaten deep fried butter. At the time I, and I think everybody else at the table, found this extremely improbable. Now it seems a little less so.