Michael Keaton: Birdman may be my best ever role

The Batman actor tells RadioTimes.com that his portrayal of a former superhero star-turned-theatre actor is part of "an extraordinary film"

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He appeared as the Caped Crusader in the critically-acclaimed first ever Batman reboot as well as the much-loved Beetlejuice. But actor Michael Keaton thinks that his latest film Birdman may be his best yet.

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Asked by RadioTimes.com what he considers his best film work over the course of his long career, the 63-year-old said: “Maybe this one – Birdman. This is an extraordinary film.”

Keaton has already been tipped for an Oscar for his work in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s movie playing Riggan Thomson – a washed-up actor desperate to earn respect with a high-brow stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver novel but haunted by the superhero character Birdman which found him fame.

Praising the complexities of his character, Keaton added: “He’s not self aware and at the same time he’s disgustingly self aware, like nothing but self aware, self obsessed, narcissistic – the guy would be exhausting to hang around. But at the same time he’s very courageous and very admirable.

“It’s an extraordinary piece of work – even if you hate this movie, you have to talk abut it. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

“I’m taking me out of the equation. The movie itself is the most bold thing I’ve seen a director try. I’ve never seen a director attempt anything this brave. This could have been a really failed experiment. I’d say this about some guys like Tim Burton. If the first Batman fails, it fails big. Tim Burton set the tone for everybody else.” 

Asked about the parallels between the two Batman films he made under Burton and the plot of Birdman, he said: “I played Batman, this guy’s called Birdman, there were superheroes, so obviously there’s that. Besides that, I don’t know.”

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Birdman is released in the UK on January 1