birdman

Riggan Thomson from Birdman

In Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton plays Riggan, an actor best known for portraying a superhero called Birdman in the ’90s.  Riggan’s daughter Sam is an addict in recovery as well as his assistant.  Riggan is attempting to mount a career comeback by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway play opposite Mike Shiner.  Riggan’s grasp on reality is tenuous at best, as he often imagines himself levitating and flying as well as having conversations with his Birdman persona.

Sam from Birdman

Sam (played by Emma Stone) is the daughter of Riggan Thomson in the movie Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).  Sam is in recovery from a drug addiction and helps her father as his assistant while he attempts a career comeback by producing and acting in a Broadway-bound play. Sam also runs her father’s burgeoning social media pages after he goes viral following a dash through Times Square in only his socks and underwear.  Sam has some distinctive tattoos on her right forearm and left shoulder.

mike shiner from birdman

Mike Shiner from Birdman

In Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Mike Shiner (played by Edward Norton) is an unstable method actor who performs opposite Riggan Thomson in a play being produced and directed by Riggan.  Mike also becomes entangled with Riggan’s daughter, Sam, adding even more tension to the two men’s relationship as they are forced to continue working together despite their obvious distaste for one another.