Michael Keaton has played a superhero before, and superheroes are known for running around in their underwear, but still the actor wasn’t completely prepared for it when it came time to film that scene in “Birdman.”
He spoke with David Letterman on “Late Show” about the scene — which sees him running through New York City in his tighty-whities — talking about how he didn’t really think it through when he was reading through the script for the first time.
“You read it and you don’t even think that you’re actually going to do this. You don’t think you’re ever going to end up– And then you get to the day and you think, what happened to the part where I should have said I’m not gonna do that?”
Keaton filmed the scene in broad daylight in June 2013, running through the streets of New York City, surprising casual passersby who had no idea what was going on or why he was in his underwear. Luckily, the camera production crew following him at least gave some kind of hint that this was a professional endeavor and not some kind of psychotic break.
“Birdman” has been getting rave reviews, with Keaton already receiving early Oscar talk. Alejandro González Iñárritu directed the film, which also stars Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan and Andrea Riseborough. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release it to theaters on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.