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MORNING GLORY

Diva At Dawn
When Mike Pomeroy joins "Daybreak,” he is not only on a collision course with Becky Fuller, but with the woman who will be his co-host and constant nemesis: Colleen Peck, the flighty, former beauty queen who has made a long career out of chatty banter and a willingness to do absolutely anything, no matter how ridiculous, on air. Playing Peck is an actress who has made an American art form out of nuanced comedy: Diane Keaton, the Academy Award® winner and three-time Oscar® nominee who came to the fore in the films of Woody Allen and has since had one of Hollywood's most diverse and prodigious careers.

Says Guy Riedel: "Diane plays the old battle axe to the hilt. Her Colleen Peck is a woman who has found her niche and she might not love it anymore, but she feels she deserves a certain status for having been through the morning news wars. When Mike Pomeroy comes in and discounts her, that sets the stage for them each trying to do the other in, and Diane milks each and every moment of that for as much comedy as possible.”

Keaton says she knew immediately that she wanted to be part of Morning Glory. "I've made a lot of movies now in my life and every single time what attracts me to them is the same: the script – and Aline wrote a fantastic one. It's funny, it's touching and there's something so human about it.”

As for Colleen Peck, Keaton calls her "the kind of woman you love to hate.” She goes on: "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.”

Now that "Daybreak” has hit rock bottom, Peck is forced to do something she considers truly extreme: to accept as her new co-host Mike Pomeroy, the world-famous anchor who looks down his legendary nose at her. Keaton was thrilled to have the chance to work with Harrison Ford in the role.

"When Harrison walks in a room, it's like Mt. Rushmore just came in. He's the most iconic man,” she observes. "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.”

The rat-a-tat dialogue between the duo kept Keaton exhilarated throughout the production. "These are the kinds of scenes you yearn to play all your life,” she explains, "where you start out with charming banter that turns into verbal warfare. What could be more fun than fighting with Harrison Ford?”

Another element of Morning Glory that Keaton relished was the physical comedy, of which Colleen Peck gets more than her fair share. "I'm a big fan of really big physical comedy and I had some great opportunities to make a fool of myself here,” she muses. "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.”

Keaton's gung-ho attitude revealed itself right away. "On the very first day of shooting, I had to wear this giant fat suit and wrestle with a sumo wrestler,” she recalls. "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.”

Despite having worked with some of the greatest filmmakers of our times, Keaton says that working with Roger Michell was a completely new experience. "I've never worked with anyone quite like him,” she says, "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.”

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