Keaton 'took chances' with McDonald's biopic
Michael Keaton has told Sky News he enjoyed playing fast food icon Ray Kroc in new film The Founder because it was challenging.
The film tells the story of the creation of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, which Kroc successfully franchised after making a deal with the McDonald brothers.
His character, initially sympathetic, becomes less so as he pursues his dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur, and the Beetlejuice star says that character arc made it a fun role to play.
“When I read something like this I think ooh ok, I wasn’t ready for this and I have no interest in saying please love me, like ‘can’t we make him more likable?’ I just don’t find that courageous,” Keaton said.
“I think the type of acting that I admire in guys like Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Day Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, or anybody I admire … It’s something I’ve always wanted to do before I ever saw anybody do anything, was be courageous or at least take chances.”
“So I don’t think about it in terms of please love me, I thought about it in terms of what the thing is, how can I best do this thing.
“And I thought the story was really interesting. I wasn’t ready for how interesting the story is. I wasn’t ready for that.”
Keaton says playing Kroc allowed him to hone his craft as an actor – something he enjoys.
“I enjoy doing what I’m doing, so weirdly the trickier, or the more difficult it is, it’s just more fun,” he said.
“I guess if you play tennis or play a sport and you try to get good at it, you try to refine, put spin on the ball, you try to refine your game so I’m just trying to refine my game.”
But he says for him the appeal of the film was about much more than just the character.
“It’s really not a story about Ray Kroc as much as it is about the free enterprise system and global branding, marketing, what the world looks like now, and you could argue that it really kind of started there,” Keaton said.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people who are well versed in business would come and say no actually where it started was way back here.
“And I’m sure that’s true, but if you want to really look at the history of where we are now in terms of global brands, a lot of it started right there with McDonalds and Ray Kroc.”
Keaton, who won an Oscar for his role in 2014 film Birdman, admits he doesn’t eat McDonalds, but says people shouldn’t be judgmental about fast food.
“I’m pretty conscientious but also I’m not above it.
“Also it’s all changing now, that’s one of the interesting things about this movie, what you equate with fast food now, you just take for granted,” he said.
“You can go down to the Whole Foods right here in London and your food’s already made for you – that’s fast food. There were never grocery stores that had that before,” he added.
“So there’s a lot of really healthy fast food now. And I don’t think anybody ever though that would happen.”
The Founder is out in cinemas in the UK on 17 February.
Source: Sky News – Entertainment