Michael Keaton shares the secret to playing real life people on screen

Michael Keaton shares the secret to playing real life people on screen

Michael Keaton says the key to playing a real life person on screen is to present a “version of what they are telling you”.

The 70-year-old Hollywood icon is currently playing mediator Kenneth Feinberg in Netflix drama ‘Worth’.

And he previously portrayed journalist Walter “Robby” Robinson in 2015 film Oscar-winning ‘Spotlight’ as well as CNN producer Robert Weiner in 2002 war drama ‘Live from Baghdad’.

And Keaton believes the thing to avoid is doing an “impression” of the person you are portraying.

Speaking to Collider, he said: “They’re three really different people from one another.

“You have to do the basics, be really intrusive but be really respectful and hold back.

“Pick the great parts of what they have to tell you and the less great parts, the dark parts of what they have to tell you.

“So, at some point you have to be a version of what they tell you, at least I do!

“Otherwise you’re trying to do an impression and you never want to do an impression.

“They’re both Boston region guys Robbie and Ken.

“So it does help to get into the groove of what do you ask a real person, a person who really existed. I’d done this before with Robert Weiner when I did ‘Live in Baghdad’.

"He’s living on a barge in Paris on the Seine so that’s pretty cool and I had to go and hang out with him for a while.

"It helps when you do one of them because then you get to know what questions to ask.

"Almost everything surprised me!"

Written by Max Borenstein, 'Worth' is based on the non-fiction book 'What Is Life Worth?' about efforts to compensate the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Michael will be reprising his 1989 role as Batman in upcoming film 'The Flash'.