"It's a total filmmaking class: In the fall, the writing students come up with a concept, and in the spring, I take over and we shoot it." The premise of would require," Franco says, "and because the idea of having inmates putting on a play opens up all sorts of unconventional casting possibilities, and you get all this crazy shit outside of the play." is an unmistakably shoestring production.Franco persuaded Camilla Belle and Summer Phoenix to star as asylum inmates, essentially as favors to him; family and friends of the production are helping out as extras.He's acted in smash comedies and action blockbusters, like But Franco's an idiosyncratic and indefatigable polymath, too – or, depending on your level of skepticism, a hyperactive dilettante – who's spent the past decade hopscotching between a bewildering array of pursuits.Not just teaching, but taking graduate-level courses in filmmaking and literature; publishing his own fiction and poems with, among other people, Don De Lillo's editor; collaborating with performance-art icon Marina Abramovic and mounting exhibitions of his own art, including a close-up video of urinating penises and defecating assholes; guest starring on on Broadway; founding a rock band called Daddy; directing his own passion projects based on Faulkner novels and the lives of obscure homosexual character actors. Abrams and based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, in which Franco plays a time-traveler tasked with stopping the John F. It's one of the best things he's done in years, and a reminder that – all his multihyphenate activities notwithstanding – he remains one of the most gifted, compulsively watchable actors of his generation. Franco leaves for wardrobe and dons a paisley vest and peak-lapel overcoat.Add to these dizzying bullet points approximately a zillion other improbable career choices, and you could make the case that Franco, 37, is the most productive man in pop culture. He plays a wealthy theater impresario called Fry, with just two lines in this scene, 14 words in all.Yet from the moment the fists start flying, Franco is the most transfixing thing onscreen – he radiates Fry's arrogance, impatience and power with little more than some tiny shakes of the head and quick, disdainful glances.In a makeshift dressing room directly above them, James Franco hears the ruckus through the floorboards and smiles as a young woman combs pomade into his hair.
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If there was a logic guiding these seemingly chaotic choices, it was legible only to him.There's no armada of climate-controlled Star Waggons out front; no brigade of PA's.In other words, this isn't at all the kind of set where you'd expect to find a world-famous movie star – except that James Franco isn't like other movie stars.And he involves a ton of choreography performed by stunt doubles, which translates to a ton of sitting around for Franco.
Since he hates wasting time, the result is an absurd tableau: As the stuntmen scuffle right in front of him, he sits cross-legged in a canvas folding chair, calmly sips coffee and reads not one but two different paperbacks at once – a Jackson Pollock biography and Toni Morrison's .
He's almost embarrassed by what you assume he's like.