Edward Norton on Shooting ‘Birdman’s’ Never-Ending Take: It Was Terrifying

The actor tells Jimmy Kimmel he just didn’t want to ruin it for Michael Keaton or Naomi Watts

Fox Searchlight’s buzzy Oscar bait “Birdman” appears to be just one, long and unbroken take. But Edward Norton, who co-stars in the film, explained to Jimmy Kimmel that while it appears to be continuous, director Alejandro González Iñárritu did actually call “action” and “cut” more than once during this project.

Also read: Alejandro Inarritu Reveals Why ‘Birdman’ Was ‘Endless Spaghetti … Any Noodle Could Choke Me’

“Without unpacking it, there are interesting tricks of different types within that but it was one of the most audaciously conceived and choreographed things I’ve ever been involved with,” Norton said.

See video: Michael Keaton Is a Former Superhero Losing His Mind in ‘Birdman’ Trailer

All tricks aside, shooting “Birdman’s” long takes left Norton distressed about being “that guy” who goes and ruins it for everyone with a mistake.

“You know what’s the worst?” Norton told Kimmel. “If there’s something really, really long and great actors like Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis and Naomi Watts have done great bits across like a long, 15 minute thing and your only bit is to like come in and say one thing at the end – that’s terrifying because then you’re risking everyone else’s good stuff.”

Also read: ‘Birdman’ Reviews: Michael Keaton Soars, But Does the Rest of the Film?

“I would somewhere subconsciously want to ruin it just to make everyone mad,” Kimmel admitted.

“I suspect things like that happen to you a lot,” Norton told the ABC late-night host.

See video: Edward Norton Explains How He Became the First LA Uber Passenger on ‘Kimmel’

“Yeah. Almost every night,” Kimmel said.

“Birdman” is now playing in theaters.

Watch the video from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” above.

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