Michael Keaton has added a new feather in his cap, winning the Golden Globe for lead actor in a comedy or musical motion picture with his performance as a washed-up movie star in Alejandro G. Inarritu's "Birdman."
"Alejandro, there's not a person in this room who won't show up for your next gig," Keaton said, acknowledging "Birdman" director Inarritu as he accepted his award. "Thanks for letting me be a part of this unbelievably gutsy, unapologetic look at human nature."
Keaton also talked about his humble upbringing as the seventh of seven children, mentioning his father's two jobs and his mother's rosary beads. Tearing up while talking about his son, the actor apologized. "Two things I said I wasn't gonna do, cry and give air quotes," he said.
Keaton beat out Ralph Fiennes as an unflappable concierge in "The Grand Budapest Hotel," Bill Murray as a hard-living curmudgeon in "St. Vincent," Joaquin Phoenix as a pot-smoking private eye in "Inherent Vice" and Christoph Waltz as an art-world schemer in "Big Eyes."
The award represents the first Golden Globe win and second nomination for the 63-year-old actor, who was previously up for his performance in the 2002 TV movie "Live From Baghdad."
In "Birdman," Keaton portrays Riggan Thomson, an unraveling Hollywood actor who rose to fame playing a superhero and is trying to rejuvenate his career by mounting a Broadway play.
Although there's an undeniable element of art imitating life in the film — Keaton, of course, starred in Tim Burton's "Batman" 25 years ago, only to be supplanted by a new generation of spandex-clad stars — Keaton has bristled at people's conflating him and his character.
"Lets face it, I'm Batman," he told The Times in a previous interview. "I can at least understand this more than if some guy who worked at Radio Shack came in and took this role." But, he added, "It kind of applied and didn't apply. There are only a couple of characters I've played to whom I related less. I don't have the same personality. It's not me. So in a weird way, it was a lot harder. In a way, I had to jump over the obstacle."