And this year Michael Keaton is impressing critics with his nuanced portrayal of Ray Kroc in The Founder, the man who made McDonald's a global phenomenon. "Before this, I knew there was a Ray Kroc," Keaton says, "but if someone asked, I'd probably have offered the generic response that he started McDonald's. I didn't know there were McDonald's brothers, and 90 percent of the population doesn't know that! I would argue that that's mostly where branding started, and I don't think he knew he was starting it."

Michael Keaton at his Star ceremonyMichael Keaton at his Star ceremony

Keaton was keen to play the character warts and all. "Ray Kroc is not a lovable guy," he admits, "but he's got an extraordinary work ethic and a decency. Although once he sells his soul to the devil, he becomes a different, almost sadistic human being."

His only hesitation about signing onto the project was whether the film would try to smooth out Kroc's darker edges. "I'm ridiculously transparent and straightforward," Keaton says. "So I said to [director John Lee Hancock], 'Before we do this, if there's a part of you that wants to waver....' And he never did. Ray Kroc for sure is interesting, but the story is what's important. When Kroc turned that corner, he said, 'I'm going to cut these guys off at their knees, and be relentless.' What I really find interesting as an actor is, up until that moment, I really admired Ray Kroc. He worked his ass off!"

For his next role, Keaton returns to a superhero blockbuster franchise, something he helped reinvent when he played Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. "I don't think of things like that, especially at the time," he says. "The further you get from events, you start to look at it from a little distance, position and height, and you get it. I have thought about the way things have changed, because Marvel is one well-oiled machine!"

More: How Mark Knopfler Inspired Michael Keaton's McDonald's Movie

In the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, he plays the villainous Vulture. And he was impressed at how Marvel takes care of every detail of their universe. But Keaton finds it ironic that he's part of this huge phenomenon. "I don't really like a lot of attention," he laughs. "So you might ask, why would you ever pick this way to make a living? Well, I had to really learn how to manoeuvre inside and outside all of that."

Watch the trailer for The Founder: