Michael Keaton Was Convinced He’d Win Best Actor Oscar For ‘Birdman’

Michael Keaton has admitted that he was convinced that he would leave the Academy Awards ceremony with the Best Actor Award until a few weeks ahead of the ceremony.

However, the actor’s confidence drained away at the Academy Award’s luncheon, which was held on February 2, just a few weeks before the ceremony itself.

During his appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, Keaton recalled that at the luncheon an elderly man who has been associated with the Oscars for decades approached him and then lavished praise on his performance as Riggan Thomson in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance).

The gentleman told Keaton that his portrayal “was maybe the best performance [he’d] ever seen in a movie,” and continued to wax lyrical about his efforts, all of which convinced Keaton that he would walk away with the coveted Best Actor Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015.

Keaton admitted that he told himself, “I am a lock,” while adding, “This guy’s been around forever, he knew everyone in the Academy… Well that’s about it, that’s all I need.”

Keaton continued to talk to the man though, who then instantly crushed his dreams just after convincing the actor that he’d pretty much already sewn up the Oscar.

As Keaton thanked the man for his comments and then stood to leave, the individual grabbed hold of the actor’s hand and remarked, “Just remember, Michael – when it comes to winning an Academy Award illness always wins.”

This immediately jolted Keaton’s confidence, and he did a complete u-turn. In fact, as soon as he’d digested the man’s words, the Batman and Beetlejuice actor thought, “‘I am so f***** right now. It’s over.’ I went from it’s a done deal to it’s done.”

You can watch Michael Keaton’s entire discussion with David Letterman, whose last performance as the host of The Late Show is on May 20, below.

It turns out that the elderly gentleman was, of course, right. Eddie Redmayne went on to top Michael Keaton for the Best Actor Academy Award at the Oscars for his towering portrayal of Dr. Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything.

In fact, one of the most heartbreaking moments from the entire ceremony was witnessing Michael Keaton putting away his acceptance speech mere seconds after Eddie Redmayne had been announced as the winner.

But it wasn’t all bad because Birdman ultimately went on to win both the Best Director and Best Picture accolades at the ceremony that evening.

[Image via Abril]