Here’s a portion of a Michael Keaton q & a on Grantland, filed by Daniel Kellison:
Keaton: So I saw the Jackie Brown script, and I thought, Yeah, it’s okay, but the Ray Nicolette character seems a little vague. And then Quentin said he thought so too. So I said, ‘Well, with all due respect, no thanks…but maybe for another thing.’ And then they called again and again. I think it was two calls or three calls, and I said, ‘Hey, what am I, crazy? I should at least go hang out with him. It’s Quentin Tarantino.’
Michael: So we went out. There used to be a place on Sunset where he’d hang out, called Coach & Horses, I think.
Daniel: Yeah. Know it well. Left my credit card there a couple times …
Michael: Exactly. So we were hanging out, and he was drinking, and by this time, he was already 40 or something, and he’s drinking Jagermeister, like some kind of frat boy. Who even drinks that? So he’s drinking pretty good, and he’s already pretty much in his — what’s the expression? In his cups? — and he talks nonstop. And all I know is at some point in the evening [Michael stands up and gets his face about as close to mine without actually touching noses] — and I don’t mean to invade your space here, but I was like this [backing away a little], and he was like this [moves his face closer to mine] and I remember thinking, He’s too close to my face. How do I get back there? I don’t know how to move my head back.
Daniel: You don’t want to be rude, but…
Michael: Yeah, but at the same time I’m thinking, How do I get out of here? I mean, I don’t even know how we got this close talking, anyway.
Daniel: I can see that. I can also see him using that in a movie — though he probably wasn’t even aware he was doing it.
Michael: Anyway, I can barely drink anything now. I’ll have a glass of red wine every night, and now I find I can hardly do that anymore. But man, that guy can go. So [the next day] I got a phone call at seven o’clock in the morning. We had the same publicist for a period of time, and she said, “Well, is it true?” and I go, “Who is this?!” “It’s Bumble” — presumably Bumble Ward, currently head of 20th Century Fox publicity — “…is it true?” And I go, “I don’t know what…” “Wait, were you with Quentin last night?” “Yeah.” “Well, did he do that?” And I go, “What? I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Apparently he got into an altercation with a bunch of Korean girls in a bar, and I went, “Oh my God, I’m so glad I left.” What happened was, we went out to a couple of places, we’re walking somewhere in the Village, downtown somewhere, and I went, “I’m going home, man,” and he goes, “Come on. Just hang out for a bit,” and I go, “Nope, I’m going home, I have stuff to do in the morning.” And I went home, and I guess I missed it.
Michael: Right, exactly. But we were talking about Jackie Brown, which I love. When I look at that movie…
Daniel: Yeah, totally underrated.
Michael: I loved that movie.
Daniel: But from that movie came one of the coolest cinematic devices of all time: You took that same Elmore Leonard character you did from Jackie Brown, Ray Nicolette, and the next year you reprised the character for Steven Soderbergh in Out of Sight. Your character hopped from one movie right into the other.
Michael: Yeah, I’ve never seen that done — ever. And I hope I’m not getting too esoteric about this, but it was almost like postmodernism.
Daniel: If people are still reading this far into this article, they’re obviously pretty big Michael Keaton fans — I don’t think you can get too esoteric for them.
Michael: What I felt was: It’s like he exists in the world. He might show up in your barbershop, you know what I mean? Different studio, different script, different story, different director. Everything is different, and all of a sudden, this guy shows up again. And I thought, Man, it would be cool — I’d just like to show up again somewhere else.
Daniel: Well, I just read the other day that they’re making [Elmore Leonard’s] The Switch into a movie. Maybe they can somehow figure out a way …
Michael: Oh, they’re making The Switch?
Daniel: Yeah. It would be cool to see Ray Nicolette show up in that one, too.