Michael Keaton: Catholic school made me who I am
Michael Keaton says his education at a Catholic school shaped the person who he is.
The 63-year-old actor admits he endured tough discipline during his time at school when he was growing up in Pennsylvania, but rather than resent the treatment he believes it made him a moral person.
In an interview with Prestige Hong Kong magazine, Keaton – whose parents were Catholic Christians – said: “I liked going to Catholic school. Not as f***ed up as some people think. My experience was fine. It was classic knuckle-rapping and stand in the corner and corporal punishment. But it was just sort of what it was. I didn’t come away scarred for life. It kind of builds who you are. I was an altar boy. I liked being an altar boy. Me and my buddies got to go and serve Mass and go to school. I didn’t go to church all the time just ’cause I was an antsy kid. It was a good experience for me. It probably does shape who you are and what you believe in.”
Keaton’s next film ‘Spotlight’ focuses on the Boston Globe newspaper’s investigation of the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal.
In the movie, he plays Spotlight team editor Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson who is charge of the journalistic investigation into the abuse carried out by priests, and Keaton believes his Catholic background helped him in the difficult role.
Discussing the impact his Catholic upbringing had on his approach to the role, he revealed: “It added and subtracted, but mostly added. It just p***es you off. And then you have to say that doesn’t do you any good, I’ve got a job to do here. I’m an actor. And Robby got p***ed off. Everyone got p***ed off.
“I was afraid that every day you go in and you have to deal with this. There are the words, there are the scenes, there are the descriptions. Detailed descriptions. You think, why am I doing this? I’m gonna get so angry and depressed. And actually that’s not really what happened. Once again, it was a really good cast – quick on their feet, bright, knowledgeable about a lot of things. I actually enjoyed it.”
Keaton stars in ‘Spotlight’ with Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci.