Michael Keaton has revealed that it was he who created the iconic appearance of his main character in Beetle juice. Keaton played the role of the obnoxious poltergeist in Tim Burton’s 1988 horror comedy, offering to help the recently deceased ghosts of Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis rid their home of family members who had moved, including Lydia Deetz from Winona Ryder. Despite the rude elements of the character, which today are considered controversial, Beetle juice It proved to be a critical and commercial success, spawning an animated series and stage musical, as well as helping rekindle Keaton’s career.
Before playing the role, Keaton had been known to his comic leads during the 1980s after appearing in the Ron Howard sitcom. Night shift. The success of the film led to Keaton being pigeonholed into comic roles before the darker shade of Beetle juice allowed the actor to achieve a higher level of acclaim, something that would only increase when he reunited with Burton for the title role in 1989 Bat Man. Today, Keaton is probably best known for appearing in Oscar-nominated films such as Bird man and Highlight, in addition to playing Adrian Toomes / Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming; although Keaton will return as Batman in the next The flash.
In an interview with Charlie rose 2014, recently shared by The Hollywood reporter Keaton explained how he had met with Burton three times before agreeing to star in the film, and the director tried to convince him to star in it. Keaton noted that he wasn’t sure what the movie was about and said: “I had no idea what he was talking about, but I liked him.” Keaton eventually had the costume department prepare a clothes rack while he experimented with the character, ultimately leading to the iconic look we all know today. You can read Keaton’s full statement below:
“I said, ‘Give me a night or two days,’ and I called the wardrobe department at the studio and said, ‘Send me a bunch of wardrobes from different time periods, randomly. Just pick a shelf. ‘ … And then I thought of a tooth idea and a walking idea and I knew I had been there, I called and said ‘I have an idea, and I don’t know if it’s going to work or not, so let’s do this.’ Here’s the amazing part: He never saw any of it. We discussed it. I said, ‘I want hair that looks like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet.’ And to the great Ve Neill in the locker room, I said, ‘I want mold because Tim said it lives under rocks.’ So I showed up to work, I got on stage and said, ‘This is going to be very out of place, or it will, I don’t know what he’s going to do.’ He received it immediately. “
Beetlejuice’s unique design has become so iconic that it’s hard to imagine it appearing otherwise, and it’s interesting to know that it was thanks to Keaton. He’s such an accomplished actor that it’s no wonder he was responsible for creating the unique gestures as well as the look, and it’s good that Keaton’s vision for Beetlejuice has worked so well, adding minor details like the cast, as they are what they are. which helped bring the character to life. The original version of Beetlejuice’s The script was much darker, with the character bordering on a racist portrayal of Middle Eastern men. Fortunately, that changed significantly, although the character is very obnoxious, but it is partly thanks to Keaton, we have the version that we know today.
While it was a risk for Keaton to sign the paper considering that he did not yet have a full understanding of the story, or confirmation that his vision of the character would be accepted, it was ultimately worth it. Beetlejuice is one of the actor’s most beloved characters and the film was key in helping Keaton achieve the status for which he is known today. Fans still clamor for a Beetle juice sequel, but the plans were unfortunately shelved in 2019, which means we’re unlikely to see Keaton return as the iconic poltergeist, but at least there are still fun stories like this to fall back on.
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