Three decades have passed since the last time Michael Keaton wore the mantle of the bat in Tim Burton’s ‘Batman Returns’ and, now, as he prepares to play the DC superhero again in ‘Batgirl’ and ‘The Flash’ —which will arrive this year and next respectively—, the actor has looked back and pointed out how the industry has changed in these thirty years.
of hits and misses
During the round table organized by The Hollywood Reporter with drama actors, in which he coincided with Oscar Isaac, Tom Hiddleston, Brian Cox, Samuel L. Jackson and Quincy Isaiah, Keaton recalled advice Jack Nicholson gave him during the filming of the first ‘Batman’; a turning point in his career that left no room for middle ground.
“In the old days, I remember being in London with Jack Nicholson. We were shooting ‘Batman,’ and he was going somewhere and he was like, ‘Come with me,’ which is an experience in itself. So we’re in the car talking about the movie. All we knew was that it was a huge risk, and if it went wrong I was going to go into a tailspin and it was going to be very difficult to recover. But I also knew that if it worked, it could change my future.” .
Of course, this situation was not at all pleasant for Keaton, but Nicholson managed to calm him down. with a phrase as simple as it is forceful.
“So Jack said to me, ‘Keats, if this thing is a hit, you can do four or five flops and not worry about it.’ It might not have been four or five, but you could get away with three and it wouldn’t matter.”
However, the Golden Globe winner for his work on ‘Dopesick’ knows that scenario is no longer plausible. Today there is no margin for errorand you have to weigh very well what project you embark on if you don’t want unpleasant surprises.
“But not now, man. You only get one chance, and it sucks.” It is impossible [decir] ‘I’m going to jump on this,’ even when it comes to the smallest projects, and negate that instinct as an actor to act the best you can. You get there and the work is the same. Even if you’re going to do a 15-second Grease commercial you’re like, ‘Okay, man, I’m going to give it my all.’ Because at that point I don’t know how not to give it my all, not because it’s fucking amazing, but because I’m probably scared to just accept without question and think ‘Well, don’t be a jerk and do the job.’
Just as Nicholson served as his guide and mentor, Keaton has now continued to guide subsequent generations. After becoming a father, he chose to take a break, and gave the same advice to fellow actor and comedian Bill Haderstar of the fantastic ‘Barry’.
“I’m like, ‘Man, if I lose money, it’s okay.’ I had a conversation with Bill Hader the other day, he had a problem or two, and I was like, ‘Man, trust me. Spend as much time with your kids as you can. for as long as you can. You’ll never regret it. You’re going to lose some work, but that’s okay. In the long run, that’s what matters.”