• Golden Globe Awards

Winners Circle 2022: Nominee Profile 2022: Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”

Michael Keaton has been a movie star for almost four decades. In fact, his turn as an obnoxious poltergeist in Beetlejuice (1988) was considered a comeback for the Pittsburgh actor who´d become a household name after starring in 1983s Mr. Mom.
He later appeared in a variety of films ranging from dramas and romantic comedies to thrillers and action films. But it was his portrayal of the masked vigilante of Gotham City, that fights against evil to keep his citizens safe, in Tim Burton´s Batman (1989) that earned him widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences.  He later reprised the role for the sequel, Batman Returns (1992) which was another critically acclaimed success.
After a string of films as diverse as Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and The Paper (1994), he chose to hand the Batmobile to Val Kilmer rather than participating in Batman Forever, the third installment of the franchise.  In the early 2000s, Keaton appeared in several films with mixed success, including Live from Baghdad (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe award), but it seems he preferred his time off in rural Montana, fly-fishing, hunting, and riding horses than working as one of Hollywood´s most sought-after leading men. “I wish I had some really fascinating answer when people ask me why I disappear once in a while”, Keaton said in an interview with members of the HFPA. “The truth is that this is what I do for a living and I really like it but I have many other things in my life that interested me as well”.
The last break didn´t last as much as he was planning. In 2014, Alejandro González Iñárritu thought of him to portrait a faded Hollywood actor trying to move away from his superhero “Birdman” to be taken seriously, in Birdman. That venture earned him his first Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy.
Heading into his fifth decade in show business, Keaton returned to TV. Although he has participated occasionally in some episodes, Michael Keaton has not been in a television series since he starred in 2007 in The Company. And the reason for his return to the small screen has been the story told in Dopesick, an eight-episode series directed by Barry Levinson, about the opioid epidemic in the United States.
Based on the best seller by Beth Macy, the series tracks the beginning of the epidemic, specifically following Purdue Pharma, one of the most powerful pharmaceutical companies of the world, and the Sackler family whose members invented OxyContin.
Dopesick aims to unmask one of the big businesses that claim more lives every year in America, offering the vision of different groups affected by the addition to this type of drugs, such as doctors, family members, consumers, and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. Keaton plays Samuel Finnix, a small-town Virginia doctor who is introduced to the drug as a revolutionary way to help his patients deal with pain. “It´s an honor to pay this tribute to the victims and shed some light on the heroes who defended her. A lot of lies were told”, he said, explaining why he decided to participate in the series, adding that is always a good thing to “bring awareness to something that really matters and affects so many people”.
But that was not the only reason for Keaton´s return to television, the opportunity to work with creator Danny Strong and director Barry Levinson added to his interest. “The timing was right and the quality of the material was excellent”.
Dopesick has earned him his third Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actor in a Television Motion Picture category.