The 67-year-old star started out telling jokes on stage in New York, and while he was enjoying writing and live performing, he eventually decided to put all his energy into pursuing his career as an actor.
Speaking on the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’, he said: “I really wanted to be an actor, but I was so in love with comedy and I was starting to write a little bit.
“I started doing stand-up in New York actually… I was starting to get more acting roles and I thought, ‘I only want to be really, really great at something’ so I threw the focus kind of into acting as opposed to stand up.”
Michael went on to star in the likes of Tim Burton’s 1988 horror comedy ‘Beetlejuice’, and played the titular superhero in both ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns’, which also had the filmmaker at the helm.
He has reunited with the director for this year’s live action ‘Dumbo’ remake – in which he plays entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere – and he admitted he never turn down a role from the filmmaker.
He said: “When I personally get a call, and I bet [Danny DeVito] would say the same, you pretty much say, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna be there.’ So you just kind of show up and it’s never disappointing.”
The ‘Jack Frost’ star quipped that even if they make a bad film one day, it will still be a blast to work together.
He laughed: “Some day we are going to make a really horrifically bad movie – and it’s still going to be fun to make.”
The filmmaker has agreed with that a strong bond of more than two decades has been crucial to making great movies together, and admitted that it was “very strange” how he got on with Michael immediately the first time they met.
He explained: “But, also, I’ve seen the guy for 20 years, right.
“And all of a sudden, the next day I worked with him, it was like I’d just seen him the other day and that is a very strange feeling to have in your life when you haven’t seen someone in so long and it’s boom, like I saw him yesterday.
“It’s a very strange feeling.”