Actor Michael Keaton goes unnoticed in Nelson

Michael Keaton shows off his catch after spending the day fishing on a Murchison River.
River Haven Lodge

Michael Keaton shows off his catch after spending the day fishing on a Murchison River.

Oscar-nominated actor Michael Keaton spent several days in Nelson this week fishing, fine-dining and revelling a rare spot of anonymity. 

Scotty Murray, owner of the River Haven Lodge said Keaton stayed at the lodge in Murchison for several days before heading home to America. 

The actor, of Beetlejuice, Birdman and more recently Spotlight fame was spotted in Auckland two weeks ago, but he has kept a low profile while exploring the country. 

"He even walked down the middle of town in Nelson at night and ate at the Cod & Lobster, he raved about that place and no one even recognised him," Murray said.

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He said Keaton had spent about two weeks in the country on this visit, mainly in the South Island and he had fished near Te Anau and spent time near Split Apple Rock on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. 

Murray first met Keaton in 2005 when he starred in an EPSN2 show at Lake Rotoroa Lodge that highlighted fishing in the legendary wild trout rivers of New Zealand. 

He said Keaton was a keen fisherman and had visited New Zealand about four times.

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The pair spent two days fishing and Murray admitted he had a sleepless night due to nerves before they took to the river. 

"It was pretty good, we got off the helicopter and landed in the water, the first cast and he gets a six and a half pound fish, then the second cast he gets a four pound fish," he said.

Keaton caught 14 fish on the first day, although their second day on the water was a little tougher. 

"That kicked us off to a magnificent start," he said. "He absolutely loved it, he couldn't get enough and didn't want to leave."

Murray described Keaton as laid back, humble intelligent and a great conversationalist.

"He is very friendly, honest and trusting, he has all the great attributes," he said.

Murray said Keaton was "absolutely horrified" by the widespread use of 1080 for pest control in New Zealand, as it was a substance that was banned in the United States and other countries around the world.

"He's just nonchalant, he just walks along old jeans and ripped up t-shirt and a cap and a pair of sunglasses and sandals and you would just think he was some boy who has come off the beach."

Murray said Keaton's visit was great for both the fly fishing industry and New Zealand, and he had no doubt that Keaton would be back again to fish in the region. 

 - Stuff

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