One might think former Batman Michael Keaton might not have much in common with a doctor prescribing OxyContin in a small coal-mining town. But his gripping portrayal of that very character, in Hulu’s gripping series Dopesick, couldn’t feel more real, and just won the actor, 70, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor. After accepting the award from Salma Hayek, Michael broke down in tears remembering his late nephew in an emotional acceptance speech.
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) February 28, 2022
As Michael first arrived to accept his award, he was all jokes, taking the stage in a goofy somersault and joking about having had to hurry back from the “packed” men’s room. But as the laughs subsided, Michael shared how “grateful” he was to be a part of a production that creates “thought, conversation…actual change… “How fortunate am I that good can come from something I do just because I wanted to become an actor?” he continued.
As he began to discuss the fairness and unfairness of the world, he also called out “fellow actor” Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky for his hard work “fighting the fight” in the face of a Russian invasion spearheaded by Vladimir Putin. “The acting I’ll quit, the shutting up, not so much,” he shared to cheers and shouts across the ballroom.
But Michael’s eyes began to water as he started discussing the central topic of Dopesick, drug addiction, which hits close to home for the actor– he lost his nephew to fentanyl and heroin use. As he fought back tears, he shared that given the “subject matter” of the show, he dedicated his win to his nephew Michael and his sister Pam. “We lost my nephew Michael to drugs, and it hurts” he shared heartbreakingly as he clutched the statuette.
Michael previously opened up to 60 Minutes about his nephew’s overdose, sharing how he got through playing a role with such a personal connection. At the time, Michael remained stoic on the matter, sharing he just had to “remove the emotion” in order to focus on the “job at hand” as a “storyteller.” But if his heartwrenching and thoughtfully-spoken SAG acceptance speech proved everything, it’s that even the most composed celebrity is brought to tears sometimes. Congratulations to Michael and the rest of the Dopesick team!