The Happy Life of Diane Lane

Heartbreaking Diane Lane, the woman who made a generation of men wish they were men before they were men, is an almost perfect storm.

  1. “And then the neighbors’ baby woke me up, six feet from my head, and I’m like, Hello! Good morning! It’s still dark out!” says Diane Lane, skipping blithely up the brick steps to her new house, trailing monologue behind her like smoke. She is wearing jeans and joggers and a clingy, spaghetti-strap top, a frumpy pink cardigan. Her shoulder-length hair, approximating natural warm browns with streaks of honey, is pinned carelessly atop her head. Wraparound sunglasses, no makeup. Purse and phone and keys crowding the basket of her hands. Her voice is deep and earthy, her patter manic, the switch thrown about twenty minutes earlier when she picked me up at my hotel in her little turquoise BMW convertible—a courtesy, she explained, designed to lend a sense of control, a fleeting commodity in her hectic life. “You’re my prisoner,” she said, flinging open the passenger door, a shot of cleavage, and patted the leather seat. “Hop in! You can help us move the bed!”

    The house is set upon a little hill in a quiet Los Angeles neighborhood, a gray stucco split-level. Reaching the top of the steps, she turns to survey her yard, the avalanche of boxes spilling out of the garage onto the driveway. “I couldn’t go back to sleep,” she continues. “I was like, Okay, all right, all right. Fine. I’m gonna do the office. I’m gonna go right down there and unpack, because there’s really some embarrassing stuff lying around. I went in there the other day and there was an ancient diary sitting right out....

Originally published in Esquire, July 2000