Ah man, if there was another disappointment from last year it was Michael Keaton not winning for Best Actor. It’s one of those things you just won’t believe years from now – even though Eddie Redmayne was fantastic in The Theory of Everything. But still, Keaton’s work, to me, was the whole movie of Birdman – if you’re going to give that movie Picture and Director, why not give it to the one person who made it so great? Yeah well. Anyway, interesting exchange:
Keaton: They have a luncheon before the awards. When you’re in the room, it’s really something. Everyone in the world is there. You really feel like you’re in the real world for what I do for a living. So I was walking back, kinda walking to my table. There was a gentleman sitting at the table. Really nicely-dressed man. Probably around 70’s. He’s sitting by himself, looks up at me. I look at him. He calls me over. Says “Just wanna tell you… That’s maybe the best performance I’ve ever seen in any movie.” He’s been in the Academy for over 50 years. “Not only did I go back and see the film in theaters 3 times which I never do… Your performance will go down in history…” When he finished, I thought to myself “Pfft… I am a LOCK.”
Letterman: Yeah! I would think so.
Keaton: This guy… He’s been around forever, he knew everyone at the Academy. And I thought “That’s about it. That’s all I need!” So we’re talking and I say “That is very nice of you, sir. Thank you.” And as I get up, he says “Just remember, Michael… When it comes to winning an Academy Award… Illness always wins.” [exaggerated laughter] I know! I know!
[Weak laughter from crowd]
Keaton: And I thought… “I am so fucked right now.” It’s over! I went from “This is a done deal” to “I’m done.”