LOS ANGELES - Lead actor Michael Keaton, director John Lee Hancock and other cast members on Wednesday night premiered "The Founder", a biopic about Ray Kroc, who turned the McDonald brothers' fast food eatery into one of the biggest franchises in the world.
The film shows how Kroc, a struggling travelling salesman of milkshake makers, convinced brothers Mac and Dick McDonald to expand their diner business across America.
When their partnership broke down over quality control issues and other differences, Kroc proved himself to be a tough businessman intent on retaining control of the franchise. "Ray Kroc was like a lot of Americans who came from immigrant families, that's who we are and that's a great thing...a bootstraps kinds of guy", said Keaton, who plays Kroc in the film.
But Nick Offerman, who plays Dick McDonald, saw the film's appeal differently. "The cast is riddled with good-looking white men that are very well-spoken, from Ivy League colleges," he said. "It's the epitome of American capitalism...the greatest representation of having as much flash and facade as possible, backed up by as little integrity as possible."
At the premiere, the cast also spoke about their previous job experiences in the dining industry, with Keaton pointing just up the street to where he said he had got fired from a restaurant at which he had worked for just a day-and-a-half. "My first job was shucking oysters at a place called 'The Boston Sea Party' in Denver, Colorado, said John Carroll Lynch, who stars as Mac McDonald, "which is 1,500 miles from any ocean, so I'd never seen an oyster before." "The Founder" hits US theatres on January 20.