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James Franco on Learning How to Act -- While Working at McDonald's and Being Semi-Homeless (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 8th 2010 1:45AM
James Franco on Learning How to Act -- While Working at McDonald's and Being Semi-HomelessWould you like an actor with those fries? During his appearance on 'Inside the Actors Studio' (Tue., 8PM ET on Bravo), James Franco revealed that he learned the craft of acting while dishing out hamburgers at a McDonald's drive-through window.

James dropped out of college to become an actor, but his parents weren't about to support him financially. After leaving school, he was broke ... and quasi-homeless (he slept in friends' cars, or on the docks at the waterfront).

While working at McDonald's, James started attending Playhouse West, one of the best acting schools in the world. Naturally, he couldn't afford the tuition. But Robert Carnegie -- who ran the school -- let him take classes at a reduced price. While speaking of his old drama coach, Franco started to choke up. "He was the one person who said, 'You should take a chance on yourself.'"

Carnegie knew James was working at a burger joint -- so he told him to pay what he could, and pay the rest back later on. "That meant a lot," Franco said, while holding back tears. Naturally, now that Franco is a star, he has refunded the tuition. " ... I paid him back," the actor said, to laughter from the audience. But James didn't just learn his craft at the drama school; he also practiced it while slinging burgers, testing out fake foreign accents on unsuspecting McDonald's customers.

It's a good reminder that you should always be nice to fast food employees -- not just because it's polite, but because you never know when one of them could end up being a millionaire movie star. And James hasn't forgotten his humble beginnings. In the past, he's mentioned that there's a McDonald's near his house, and when he wants to feel good about himself, he drives through the parking lot.

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Is this not the same experience being had by American media consumers who can't look away as they're seduced and pushed further into their most weirdo James Franco fantasy; and isn't it probable that this is our star's endlessly intriguing publicity strategy?

Either way, one thing's for certain: Franco may well soon achieve the American dream of becoming a case of full blown tabloid celebrity.


December 10 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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