Actor Michael Keaton received one of France’s highest honours, becoming Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters during a ceremony here.
The 64-year-old actor was presented with a medal by culture minister Fleur Pellerin, in presence of US Ambassador Jane Hartley, said The Hollywood Reporter.
The honour, which has previously been given to Jim Jarmusch, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, highlighted Keaton’s career achievements.
“Yours is a culture that has such respect for beauty and art that if I even in the smallest way made a tiny contribution to beauty or art in this culture, or in any culture of the world for that matter, I’m honoured and grateful and proud. This is one of the biggest days of my life,” Keaton said on stage.
While speaking to the reporters about his Oscar-nominated role in “Spotlight,” the actor said, “I’m blessed with this is unbelievable good fortune to do something that can change people’s lives and make a difference.
“…I demonstrated against the war when I was in college, I’ve always been ecology-minded, my generation is one that fought for women’s rights and equal rights for minorities and I’m part of that world. And now I get to do this for a living.”
Pellerin called Keaton “a mystery,” throwing light on his contradictory profiles throughout the career and his last-name change early on.
“Spotlight” members including Walter Robinson and Mike Rezendes, as well as Iris Knobloch, Warner Bros were present during the ceremony.
The Order of Arts and Letters was created in 1957 to honour eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to the arts in France and throughout the world.