Michael Keaton says he never thought he was playing Batman; he was Bruce Wayne

In a new career retrospective, Michael Keaton opens up about his process as far as playing Batman in the Frank Miller vein went.

Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Michael Keaton and chat about his new movie, Knox Goes Away, which he also directs. Keaton is still out there promoting the film and recently ran down some of his best roles with GQ, including Batman. In the interview, which is really fascinating, Keaton remembers the controversy that surrounded his casting initially by director Tim Burton, which he calls a “ballsy move.” 

He said one of the reasons he was cast was their relationship on Beetlejuice, but making it work was a long process right up until they shot, as Keaton really had no idea how to even move as Batman, with him calling the suit a “deep lonely thing.” But, in the end, Keaton said the key was just to “work the suit baby; that thing will get you three-quarters of the way there.”

One notable thing he mentioned, as far as his approach went was that he never thought about Batman. “It was ALWAYS Bruce Wayne,” he says, “you start with that.” He adds, “he witnessed the murder of his parents; that’s a lot to start with, especially if you take the Frank Miller approach, which was what we took.”

One thing he also notes is how physically challenging it was. He remembers working out to try and be fit to play the role, which he says was exactly the wrong approach. He remembers Jack Nicholson, who was playing Joker walking up to him and simply asking, “What are you doing that for?” “I didn’t have an answer for him; he just walked off,” he remembers, laughing. “I approached it totally wrong. It’s better to be real, small, little and thin inside, so there’s room to breathe. 

He also looks back at the movie fondly, remembering how much of a phenomenon it was. “I was part of something that was a friggin game changer in terms of how they make those movies. That changed everything.”

Knox Goes Away is currently out. Read my review here!

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/michael-keatons-key-to-playing-batman-work-the-suit-baby/

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