The Birdman movie introduces the character of Riggan Thomson as he tries out the waters of Broadway with hopes that it will bring a whole new level of success to his already deteriorating acting career. The actor who used to be known for his superhero role as Birdman takes a huge risk but holds tight to his dream of proving his true artistry and not just another old and fading film star.
The Broadway production that he is writing, directing and acting in also includes his girlfriend, Laura and another budding actress in Broadway productions named Lesley. His daughter, Sam works as his dad’s personal assistant. During one of their rehearsals, one of the cast members gets injured forcing Riggan to have a replacement in the persona of Mike Shiner who caused havoc to the play by drinking real alcohol and even raping Lesley on stage in one of the love scenes.
Riggan became more freaked out when he saw Mike and his daughter Sam kissing. This made him take a smoke outside the theater without realizing early on that he was only in his robe and underwear. He found out he was locked outside the theater which forced him to work in New York in the said outfit and caused the virality of amateur videos taken of him by random people.
Before the opening night of his Broadway production, he revealed to ex-wife how he tried drowning himself in the past and that he often hears a Birdman voice in his head. His ex-wife did not believe him and Riggan replaced his prop gun with a real one that is loaded. With the play reaching its end, he shoots himself right in front of the entire audience only to cause a standing ovation.
Riggan ended up in the hospital the following day and shows him visited by Sam. He walks alone to the bathroom and went straight to the window ledge. When Sam came back to the hospital room, she did not see her dad anymore but only a window left open.