“A sense of freedom is something that happily comes with age, and life experience,” Diane Keaton once said. Perhaps it’s that sense of freedom that inspired the 69-year-old actress to do something she’s never done before: a television series.

The Academy Award winner has signed on to play Sister Mary, an American nun who travels to the Vatican alongside Jude Law in HBO’s new eight-part drama, The Young Pope. But she’s not the only legendary Hollywood actress to find a new career on the small screen.

diane keaton

Diane filming The Young Pope in Rome on Aug. 11.

“Diane was inspired to take on this TV project after pals Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin received great reviews for their new Netflix series, Grace and Frankie,” says a friend. “Going from films to TV no longer holds the stigma it used to.”

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In fact, the role seems tailor-made to bring Diane acclaim and awards. “Here’s how you win an Oscar or an Emmy: Play a nun,” Jeanine Basinger, author of A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930–1960, tells Closer. “In Hollywood, if a female plays a character who has renounced sex, she’s getting the ultimate acting challenge.”

To read the full story on Diane, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!