Why Paul Giamatti Thought He Had Received Free Burger King For Life

Whether you know him as the struggling writer from "Sideways," or the band manager from "Straight Outta Compton," Paul Giamatti is a Hollywood icon beloved by all. The Connecticut-native quickly rose to fame after starring as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton, his breakout role in the 1997 biopic "Private Parts" (Golden Derby). After over 30 years in the business, and more than 100 acting roles, Giamatti has worked his way up in the industry, achieving victories at the Golden Globes and the Emmys (via IMDB). Despite his phenomenal success, Giamatti remains laidback and down-to-earth, and is happiest when he is starring in a supporting role. "I think you're given more [license] to have fun, in a way," he shares with the Guardian. "You're supposed to be more vivid, your job is to be more eccentric. I think I just like it better."

Lately, Giamatti has been busy filming for his Showtime series "Billions," with the most recent season premiering only a few weeks ago. Despite his hectic schedule, Giamatti managed to squeeze in time to shoot a national commercial for Burger King, where he played the voice of regret for the fast-food giant's mascot, the King. In an interview on "The Late Show," host Stephen Colbert questioned Giamatti, asking him if he would receive any special perks after starring in a commercial for the restaurant. Giamatti proceeded to answer Colbert's question with an absolute Whopper of a tale (YouTube).

Paul Giamatti's gift from Burger King wasn't exactly what he thought it would be

After the national ad was complete, Giamatti called up his agent and jokingly asked, "'So now that I've done this, do I get free Burger King for life?' And she said, 'You know what? I'll ask'" (via YouTube). Sure enough, a few days later, a FedEx truck showed up at Giamatti's house with a mysterious package. "I rip that baby open, reach down and all that's in there is this little titanium, beautifully finished black credit card," Giamatti continued. "And it's got this embossed black crown on it. And it says nothing on it. I was like, 'Holy f-ck. I have a Burger King for life card."

Once Giamatti fully processed this astonishing news, he quickly fell down a rabbit hole, sharing his update with all his friends and family. The Oscar-nominated actor also did some research about the coveted card's existence, only to discover that about 12 other people had also been bestowed with the same Burger King for life honor, including George Lucas and Hugh Laurie.

Unfortunately, reality hit the 54-year-old like a truck the following morning. "I notice there's some tiny writing on the back," he said. "So I go to some website, I have a serial number. I enter the serial number. And it turns out — it's a f-cking $100 gift certificate. I have never fallen so far and hard and fast."