John Lee Hancock’s The Founder opens here in the UK on the 17th of February, almost a month after its US release. For a film exploring the clash of egos and corporate machinations which took a small American fast food chain global, the distance is an important one. We have three interviews with the cast and director of The Founder set to publish this week, we begin today with Michael Keaton who plays Ray Kroc in the new film. James Kleinmann was our man asking the questions.

The film’s examination of the American Dream is central to its effectiveness. However, as Keaton told us, this theme was only picked up on by international journalists.

The Founder Michael KeatonHe said,

“That’s really what’s it about. Everyone outside the US has referenced the American Dream…It’s a real examination of free enterprise system, capitalism, consumerism, branding, how it came to be then, and what it is now. How it pertains to today…

“[It’s about] what The American Dream was when it started because now we’re obsessed…it’s sad that the Kardashian girl was robbed…if you look at that constant display of…things based on money and bling…it’s so disproportionate and people think that’s the American Dream.

“The American Dream is that hopefully you get a decent job and own a home and have some kids that can get into a decent school, and you can retire and have a car…that’s a pretty good dream. But now people think the American Dream is that everyone should have private jets and mansions…”

The film also offer Keaton the chance to play an antagonist firmly in the spotlight. We asked if he was envious of not playing a villain in the Batman films, considering he’ll be playing The Vulture in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.

“Not envious…well, maybe. I’d have to go back and think but I wouldn’t doubt that if I tried to go back and looked at myself and say ‘God, that’s fun, just being able to go nuts…and Christian Bale is so good, but a lot of the light does go to the villain.”

Here’s the full interview, check back later today for our other interviews with The Founder team.

Michael Keaton Interview – The Founder