The 30th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards took place on Feb. 21, 2015, at the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. Here is what these Spirit Award winners said backstage in the Spirit Awards press room.
Best Male Lead (Michael Keaton)
Michael, can you talk about working with “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu and his vision for the film?
Michael Keaton: [He says jokingly] He had no idea. Zach [Galfianakis] basically directed the movie. [He says seriously] No, it was great. He knew from the get-go what he wanted to do, and then we just tried to pull it off. And he did.
Were you able to relate to the Riggan Thomson character in “Birdman”?
Keaton: Yeah, totally. I’m a human being. So he’s very relatable.
You had a long rehearsal process for “Birdman.” How important was that process?
Keaton: Absolutely necessary. There’s no way we could’ve made this movie without that. He [Alejandro González Iñárritu] had warned me. I had said, “Yeah, I know. I get it. I’ve rehearsed before.” I had no idea how precise we had to be and how difficult it would be, but there’s no other way to do it. There’s no other way to make this movie.
You’ve been winning so many awards for “Birdman.” Does it get old?
Keaton: [He says jokingly] I’m so f*cking bored, I can’t even tell you.
What will you miss most about this awards season?
Keaton: I’m going to miss all of it. I enjoyed all of it. I’m going to be honest with you. We’re all acting like, “It’s so grueling.” I’ll be in a fetal position bawling in about three months, missing it.
What are your thoughts going into the Oscars tomorrow?
Keaton: More tequila, I think!
Alejandro González Iñárritu (director/producer/writer): Yes, of course!
Spanish is the native language of the “Birdman” director and much of the crew. Was the language barrier a problem?
Keaton: Here’s what they don’t know. I understand everything they say. And the whole time he thought I didn’t know. Passion, I don’t know if that has anything to do with Mexican culture or not, but these guys are very passionate guys.
González Iñárritu: Honestly, there is no one word in English that I can translate what I was feeling toward my fellow actors. They were so great: Michael and Zach and everybody and Emma. I couldn’t find the word to say how great they were doing.
Why was Michael Keaton the only actor to play “Birdman”?
Keaton: Did you see “Batman”?
González Iñárritu: That’s the answer!
Michael, what do you think the next phase of your career will be?
Keaton: [He says jokingly] Not doing anything with any of these people [he points to the “Birdman” team].
How about getting paid?
Keaton: Yes, actually getting a check is what I’m looking forward to.
Where are you putting your Spirit Award?
Keaton: Next to the Pulitzer. Next to the Nobel.
Emma, how do you feel about being part of this “Birdman” glory?
Stone: It’s been pretty easy. I can’t believe I get to be here. It’s been pretty nuts, so it hasn’t been that bad.
Alejandro, what’s next for you?
González Iñárritu: We’re doing a movie about survival, and we are surviving that film in Canada. It’s called “The Revenant.” That’s my imminent plan is to return Monday at 2 p.m., and on Tuesday at 6 p.m., I will be shooting.
For more info: Spirit Awards website
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