Michael Keaton Might Break Awards Season Record This Year

Michael Keaton has a number of accolades under his belt, but this year the iconic actor might break an awards-season record. Keaton already has two Screen Actors Guild wins in the Best Ensemble category: one for Birdman (2014) and one for Spotlight (2015). Keaton is among the nominees in the category again in 2021, this time for his role in The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020). According to Deadline, if the cast wins then Keaton will be the first actor to take home three trophies.

While speaking to the outlet recently, Keaton offered some insight into what he loves most about being part of good film ensemble. "Contrary to advice I was given early on, I've done the ensemble thing a few times, going back to The Paper and even Gung Ho. I was advised early on, you're a movie star. That's nice, but to me, it is about good material and I'm an actor who likes to be around good actors," he said. "Unless you don't have a pulse, you are going to improve. I get bored really quick. When you're around really good actors, everybody brings everybody up. Actors, for the most part, are extraordinarily generous. I've never been the guy who walks around with the attitude, I'm the guy here. This allows you to see talent burst."

The Trial of Chicago 7 was released on Netflix in October and tells the true story of a group of anti-Vietnam War activists who were charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In addition to Keaton, a number of prolific actors appear in the film, including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, and Jeremy Strong. The film not only depicts the highly publicized trial, but also the frenzy surrounding it, including the ensuing Chicago protests that led to demonstrators being beaten by police for expressing their constitutional rights.

Notably, in The Trial of Chicago 7, Keaton plays Ramsey Clark, who United States Attorney General during the riots. Regarding why he took on the role in the first place, Keaton told Deadline that it really all came down to his history with the film's writer and director, Aaron Sorkin. The pair had talked in the past about doing something together, and after many years it came to pass in The Trial of Chicago 7.

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Finally, Keaton also shared how much he just really liked the role, saying, "I liked the impact of Clark, he's an interesting character. Some of these guys in the legal profession, they're heroic. He also defended some, I'll say, tricky people, but he was a bit of a renegade, a true American, and to me, a real patriot." The Trial of Chicago 7 is currently available to stream on Netflix and the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards will air on TNT and TBS at 9 pm. ET on Sunday, April 4.