With wins and nominations at the big award ceremonies, the actor is flying high with Birdman
Despite a Golden Globe for Birdman, Michael Keaton was pipped at the post at SAG by Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. Nevertheless, the actor has become an Oscar favourite and the film has received nine nominations. In the all-star cast comedy, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the 60-year-old plays a has-been actor, Riggan Thomson, who attempts to save his career by staging a Broadway production. Best known for his brilliant performance in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice in 1988, and later, Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), Keaton is also memorable in The Paper and White Noise. He tells us about the ups and downs of Hollywood and why Birdman got him excited about being an actor, after a very long time:
Did you know Alejandro González before?
No. I knew maybe all but one of his films. I loved his movies—from Amores Perros to Babel and 21 Grams. I got a call from my agent who said that he wanted to meet. He and I had dinner and were just talking… he started explaining the movie as best he could. He said, ‘Will you give me a ride home?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ He said, ‘Come round and I’ll give you the script.’ I didn’t know it, but he was going through a really hard time getting it financed because if you explain this movie to someone, not a lot of people would go, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll give you money for that.’ I’m not sure I would have given him any money for it.
Was it an enjoyable process?
Extremely enjoyable because you were challenged every second. I’m not always excited about doing what I do. There was a long period where I wasn’t excited at all. I managed to go out and do something here or there, because you’ve got to stay somewhat involved until something comes along, and I’m fortunate that I did okay financially,.Also I’m half Scottish, so I’m good with money (laughs).
You talked about pulling back from acting for a while. Was that because you grew tired of acting?
I was turning things down, but it wasn’t like people were pounding on my door all the time either. It is what it is. It has its ups and it has its downs. I have a son who is very successful currently, but I’ve told Sean, ‘Get ready dude, this is how it’s going to go. You’re going to go sideways, you’re going to drop down, you’re going to be ‘the guy’. That’s the journey.’
Birdman is scheduled to release today.
— Team Indulge