Michael Keaton Speaks on a Potential Future in TV, Says the Writing Is ‘Superior’

by Samantha Whidden

Less than a year after the premiere of his hit mini-series “Dopesick,” Michael Keaton shares his thoughts about the future of television

During a recent interview with Variety, Michael Keaton spoke about how filming the TV series was fun-ish. “At one point, I said to Danny [Strong], ‘I ain’t ever doing this again,’” Michael Keaton recalled. “I think I’m too lazy. I don’t know if I have the endurance for that. But I’m late to the game – pound for pound, the writing on television is so superior.”

Although he originally said he didn’t have time for “Dopesick,” Michael Keaton decided to take a look at the script after hearing creator Strong’s involvement in the project. “Then it was real. The writing was good, we had a discussion and then we were filming.”

Michael Keaton then said that people used to refer to him as “Doctor No,” because he apparently said no to a lot of projects in the past. “I don’t think I really said no to that much. The things that said no to, there was a reason. It wasn’t like I was above it. It just wasn’t fitting into my life, or I didn’t think I could do the job very well.”

Strong further explained that the production was lucky to get Michael Keaton. “Because he is one of the most talented actors in the business,” the “Dopesick” creator explained. “He exudes an innate depth and kindness and has an incredible emotional range that was perfect to capture the ups and downs of Dr. Finnix’s complex journey.”

Although he had other projects going on at the same time, Michael Keaton said that the script was just that good. “I realized, ‘Whoa, boy, this is gonna be a lot harder than I thought.’ But I was already in.”

While opening up about what drew him to “Dopesick,” which follows the current opioid crisis, Michael Keaton said that it was personal for him due to losing his nephew to drug addiction. 

“This is so sad, but remember years ago when people started finally saying, ‘Well, we’re all affected by cancer because it touches everybody somehow somewhere,’” Michael Keaton stated. “At first that sounds like an exaggerated statement. Then you realize, wait a minute, that is true. Well, it’s like that now with the opioid crisis. And fentanyl is a whole other thing. I mean, that’s the horrible stepchild or something.”

As he read more episodes and the book that the series is based on, Michale Keaton shared that it felt too much on the nose. “The overall thing — and this is cynical and sad commentary ­— I’m almost not shocked by anything. You can spend your entire life being angry, but it’s going to wear you down to the point where you’re ineffective as a citizen. That’s not to say, I don’t still get really pissed off sometimes. But that doesn’t really get you anywhere.”