Michael Keaton, the Bacchus King

Michael Keaton doesn't consider himself the partying type, but he didn't hesitate when he was asked to be the "King of Bacchus" at this year's Mardi Gras celebration.

"I thought it was really important to do," Keaton said. "To give up on Mardi Gras … then you're giving up your soul and you just can't do that."

Keaton, 54, was in New Orleans filming "The Last Time" last summer and evacuated a day before Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.

"It was eerie," Keaton said. "I could tell that they really weren't, in my opinion, moving fast enough [to evacuate]."

Keaton thought he would be back in New Orleans in a few days, but after the levees broke, it took much longer. He jumped at the chance to be the King of Bacchus, leading the Bacchus Krewe parade and its 1,300 marchers.

Most "kings" are local businessmen, but Bacchus was the first krewe to break with 113 years of carnival tradition and name a national celebrity to lead its parade. Danny Kaye was named the first celebrity king by Bacchus in 1969.

Keaton is currently promoting his new film, "Game Six," which will be released March 10.

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