It’s tempting to assume that the character Michael Keaton plays in Birdman is a thinly fictionalized version of himself. He plays Riggan Thomson, a veteran actor who became a superstar when he donned a cape and cowl to become the winged creature of the film’s title. He fought bad guys and saved the world…until he grew tired of being a cog in the Hollywood blockbuster machine and walked away from it all. Sound familiar? Keaton, of course, helped create the modern-day superhero genre 25 years ago when he starred as the original Dark Knight in Tim Burton’s Batman (and then its sequel, Batman Returns). He too hung up the rubber suit when he no longer felt creatively fulfilled. Surely, then, Keaton related to Riggan like no other character from his entire 40-year career, right?
Wrong. “The truth is that I was playing a person, just a person,” he tells EW in this week’s cover story. “And I was both as connected to Riggan and as disconnected from him as you can possibly be. And I have to tell the truth about that.” READ FULL STORY