Before he fought for his life for 127 hours, before he was the ultimate villain in Spider-Man, James Franco spent his time stealing French fries from the hopper. When James Franco was a young college dropout he worked at McDonald’s, and in this surprisingly poignant column for The Washington Post, he writes, “McDonald’s was there for me when no one else was.”
Franco gave an honest account of his employment at McDonald’s when, at 18 years old, he was a broke college dropout looking to make it in Hollywood. After a while, Franco booked his first-ever commercial (a Pizza Hut ad that aired during the Super Bowl and featured an animatronic Elvis).
“I was treated fairly well at McDonald’s,” Franco wrote. “If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need. I still love the simplicity of the McDonald’s hamburger and its salty fries. After reading Fast Food Nation, it’s hard for me to trust the grade of the meat. But maybe once a year, while on a road trip or out in the middle of nowhere for a movie, I’ll stop by a McDonald’s and get a simple cheeseburger: light, and airy, and satisfying.”
This nostalgia-fueled column is more a musing on Franco’s early life as a starving artist than a true defense of the company, but rest assured, despite slipping sales and McDonald’s losing its grip on America’s dietary cravings, Franco is rooting for them.