Michael Keaton Stars in ‘The Founder,’ the Story of McDonald’s

by Sydney Sadick

McDonald’s didn’t become a mega fast-food chain without a little elbow grease. Last night, guests at the screening of The Founder at The Roxy in NYC got a hearty education—pun intended—on the rise of the Golden Arches. The film tells the true story of how Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in the 1950s in Southern California. Kroc, who was trying to making a living as a traveling salesman, was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system for making the food and saw franchise potential. The movie shows how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. No biggie! “I really enjoyed the whole experience; really good actors, a great director, and the story was really interesting to me. The first McDonald’s I ever knew of was in Pittsburgh [my hometown]. You couldn’t just walk there—you had to drive!” Keaton told us at the Weinstein Company premiere, hosted along with Grey Goose and The Cinema Society.

The film co-stars Laura DernJohn Carroll LynchNick OffermanLinda CardelliniPatrick Wilson, and B.J. Novak. “I liked wearing a great suit, I liked my hair slicked to the side, and I liked having a long wordy monologue. I think it’s most actors’ greatest fear, but for me, it’s the only thing I know I can do well,” Novack told us about his role. As for how many times the actor ventures to McDonald’s? “Three or four times a year. Not very much, but I go. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Happy Meal, though. I order everything a kid would hate, like black coffee, but I like their Chicken McNuggets a lot.”

Guests at the premiere included the film’s director John Lee HancockHarvey WeinsteinGina GershonWes GordonFern MallisTimo Weiland, Sophie SumnerGabriela Hearst, and others. Post-screening, many stuck around at The Roxy for the after-party, where yummy, on-theme bites were passed out, like cheeseburgers and fries, and Grey Goose cocktails. Delish!

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