Michael Keaton

It’s been a good last couple of years for Michael Keaton. It started in 2015 with his Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination for Birdman — his most high-profile and critically acclaimed movie role in more than a decade. Then earlier this year he starred in another cinematic gem, Spotlight, about the Boston Globe reporters who exposed widespread child sex abuse in the Catholic church — the movie won the Academy Award for Best Pitcure. We called Keaton in Los Angeles to see what he’s planning next

When Pope Francis visited the U.S. in September and spoke publicly about sexual abuse in the church, was there a part of you that hoped he’d throw out a plug for Spotlight?
I was holding out for it. I tried to get some Spotlight T-shirts to him. I had a box of crew hats sent to the Vatican, but I guess they didn’t get there in time.

You were raised Catholic. Are you a Pope Francis fan?
I’m a big fan, actually, because I feel like he’s moving a giant boulder up a hill, and he’s moving it more than anyone I’ve ever seen. I wish he’d do more. I wish he’d say that priests should be allowed to marry, and women should be allowed to become priests, and we’re going to hunt down and prosecute all the guilty parties involved in the sexual abuse of children in the church. That would be awesome. But for right now, I’ll take what I can get.

You grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. But now you live on a 1,000-acre ranch in Montana. How’d that happen?

From the time I was a kid, I was crazy about anything having to do with the West. I’d look at all of these photos of Montana, and they all seemed so magical and majestic. I just wanted to go west, and I finally did it when I was barely 21. I went off to volunteer at a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Then I hitchhiked to California, and I hitchhiked to Reno, and from there… this sounds weird, but I can’t remember how I got back to Pittsburgh. I have no idea how I managed to find my way home.

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