& # 39; The Disaster Artist & # 39; is the highlight of James Franco’s career



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In the headlines of brainstorming for this article, the first idea that came to mind was "James Franco Is Doing The Most."

It's an always green option, really. James Franco has always done his best. Between 2005 and 2017, he directed 14 fiction feature films, of which you probably never heard, as well as a handful of short films and documentaries. He also completed a bachelor's degree from UCLA and earned an MFA from Columbia University; published a collection of short stories, two poetic anthologies and a novel; he organized the Oscars the same year he received a nomination for "127 hours"; He made a multimedia project based on the comedy "Three & # 39; s Company"; She did a multimedia project in which she fought naked against the artist Paul McCarthy; he acted in films as varied as "Milk", "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "Spring Breakers"; He encouraged us to question his baduality; taught at UCLA and NYU; and somehow found a free moment to write an opinion piece of the New York Times defending the "performance art" of Shia LaBeouf.

Yes, it's been a decade for Franco, and 2017 may be his best year to date. "The Deuce," the HBO drama in which he portrays twin brothers with connections to the Mafia, was a critical and commercial blow. Now his last job as a director, "The Disaster Artist", has become a key player in the Oscar Derby in progress. It seems that Franco, whose extravagances became something like a final point, finally finds his way again.

Because he is nothing if he is not a multi-screenwriter, Franco also stars in "The Disaster Artist", offering the best performance of his career. He plays amazingly Tommy Wiseau, the enigmatic director of "The Room", proverbially known as the worst movie ever made. Based on a book written jointly by Greg Sestero, friend of Wiseau (portrayed in Dave Franco's film) and journalist Tom Bissell, "The Disaster Artist" transforms the making of "The Room" into a surprising and astonishingly stratified portrait of friendship , perseverance and complete foolishness. Oh, and Franco stayed on the character while running it, in case you want to add another line item to your resume.

I spoke with Franco in New York a few weeks ago, before his victory in the Gotham Award for Best Actor raised his status in the Academy Awards competition. The last time we saw each other, when Franco promoted the 2016 homobadual drama "King Cobra," he was distant; This time, he was happy and committed. We talked about his work-addicted tendencies, feeling that people had grown tired of him, and his affection for Wiseau, who became a dear friend.


will organize "Saturday Night Live" in December. How does it feel to return, after having made a documentary about the show?

It feels like home. I think Keenan is probably the only one in my document. We created the document about eight years ago, I think. I did it when I was in NYU. That was one of my tasks. But I feel at home there. It's still Lorne.

Your IMDb page is wild. The mere fact of realizing the amount of movies you've directed, most of which made very little money, is an exercise in which you wonder how the hell you found all that time.

It's crazy. You know, I was talking about this myself this morning, this idea of ​​over-programming. It is almost an addict behavior, in which, if you think of an addict as someone who does something to avoid himself or to avoid his life or avoid pain or avoid fear, that is something like what he was doing. This excessive programming prevents time simply relax, obviously, or at any time for self-reflection, at any time to be with their loved ones. That was part of that.

I think it's also part of that, and what's so good, and we can take it to the two projects I've presented this year, "The Deuce" and "The Disaster Artist" – I'm so proud of those things I work with [“The Wire” creators David Simon and George Pelecanos] in "The Deuce", my heroes. And I have to direct two of the eight episodes last season, and I'll do them in this new season. And then, in "The Disaster Artist," I had Seth Rogen and his company, Point Gray, produce it, because the smartest part of my brain was: "Get strong producers that make you focus." That way I would not do it. I'm doing what you're seeing in IMDb, where there are 20 things at a time.

But, on the other hand, I think, having done all those movies and all those things at such a frenetic pace, even if all those things were not successful or whatever, I think what he did was give I have a lot of experience to to be able to direct something like "The Deuce" and something like "The Disaster Artist". And, in fact, once I gathered everything and focused and had producers, I wanted to do a good job. and that would require me to focus, so I could do the best job of my career, somehow.

It feels like a moment of James Franco's return, which is strange because he was never really anywhere.

Yes, it's "we had enough of you".

Somehow. I've had enough of me. But, in fact, I left. It's just that there was a lot of accumulated work that I think has not yet reached. In fact, I only acted for two weeks this year, on this Coen Brothers project for Netflix, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs." In fact, I have retracted, and when I did "The Deuce" and I did "The Disaster Artist" I focused. I really put all my energy into those things when I was doing them. The great lesson for me are the results. I'm very happy with them, and it's like, "Oh, imagine, James, you really put care and time into something and you got a different kind of results."


While you were directing so many films and writing works, was there a project that disappointed you especially because you did not find an audience?

No, I mean, I think there are many reasons to do many things. As I said, to avoid myself. But also to improve. When I started acting, I left UCLA and my parents said, "You must stay," and I ended up working at McDonald's. That made me think, "Well, friend, you're making this choice, you're working at McDonald's, you better show you want this." That kind of started this pattern: just jump on your head, and just do it. 24 hours, every day. And then, as an actor, he reaped results. I was in "Freaks and Geeks" two or three years later, and when I started directing, I thought the same thing: just immerse yourself in it. And here I am with two projects that I am very, very proud of.

And that people are responding magnificently.

Yes, I think I graduated from film school seven years ago, and I think seven years of going definitely gave me some things. But after a while, that kind of work-addicted approach had diminishing returns. Anyway, I think part of the idea of ​​doing many things was that also, maybe, in the back of my mind I knew I was doing these very literary projects that were not going to reach a large audience. There are things I did, like this movie "Child of God," which was an adaptation of a book by Cormac McCarthy. I was really proud of that. I'm still very proud of that. I think it's an interesting movie. I think Scott Haze has an amazing performance. I was very proud of the way I put that story together. But the subject is super dark. It is a necrophilic. It will not bring large audiences. And we got a great review in The New York Times, but in general, yes, I was amazed that people did not see what I saw in that, their art. That kind of things. But, again, it was part of the learning phase.

Now, you are integrated by Tommy Wiseau, this cult figure who also did everything possible to do what he wanted. When was the first time you heard about "The Room"?

The first time I saw that face appeared on the card. […] I just said "The Room" and had that phone number and that picture [of Wiseau’s face]. The matter was five years on Highland Boulevard. I must have overcome 100, 200 times because I lived in Los Angeles. It just did not penetrate, because there were only weird things in Los Angeles. There was a guy named Dennis Woodruff who would drive in these strange cars that were covered in trash and weird stuffed animals. They said: "Call this number and put me in your movie!" There was a woman named Angelyne who was driving in this pink Corvette, and she also had her own billboards. So I thought you'd call the "Room" number if you wanted a vampire in your movie, or it was a cult or something. Because, what movie has a phone number on the card? That's all I knew.

And during those five years, you never discovered what "The Room" really was?

I later learned that my friends, like Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd, were part of the crew of the "Sala" and would go to Sunset 5, where they played at midnight on weekends. I guess they never told me, and I finally found out when I read the book when it came out four years ago. Before I was halfway there, I thought, "This is an incredible story." I love the history of Hollywood. I love Hollywood stories. I read about Hollywood as much as anything. I knew, as a narrator, I was obviously attracted to things that are unusual. Even when I was making films about necrophiliacs or Faulkner stories, I was always looking for a way to tell those stories so they would not discourage me completely.

Even with "The son of God", I found a way of how it was, in fact, [the main character] is not different from all of us. You are looking for what we all seek: love. It's just that he's so socially awkward, and he's so condemned to ostracism in society that the only way he can get it is through a corpse, right? But that's just to say that I'm always looking for ways to tell unusual stories, strange stories that have a hook. I do not want to disconnect audiences, I just do not care about the cliché. Here, with this book, I said, my God, this is all I wanted. It's the strangest story in Hollywood, but underneath it's completely universal.


Yes, because Tommy is paired with Greg Sestero, who ended up starring in "The Room" and supporting Tommy's follies. It's really a story about friendship.

On friendship, and on strangers and dreamers, that all who enter a profession begin as. We all start from the outside, and we have these dreams of making an appointment to achieve it. That is what this is in essence. So, I was like, OK, maybe this is my extravagant commercial moment, or at least something that can reach a wider audience. I was doing "The Interview" with Seth and his company in Vancouver, and I gave them the book. I was like, "Help me do this, you know how to work with studies and still make the movies you want to do, I think this has the potential to cross.

Part of the knowledge of Tommy Wiseau is the little we know about his story: specifically where he was born and how he became rich. There is a documentary in the works that tries to answer those questions.

"A room full of spoons", which Tommy tried to stop. They simply overcame it, and eventually it will come out.

Now that you know him, what do you think about Tommy's real-life research, given how secretive he is?

Actually I have not seen it, but what happens is that I think the guy who did it is a Tommy fan. You can connect online and people have theories about the three mysteries about Tommy: his age, where he got his money from and where he is from. For me, that's great and good. I do not think it really takes anything away. What is most interesting to me about Tommy is the self-creation, the person who puts on, and how strong and how strongly this creation is, and what is behind that need to live behind this facade.

He created his own character. His life has become a strange movie, and he is the star.

Yes! What is that? That is what is interesting. In our film, we preserve the mystery. Our film does not try to discredit those mysteries. We treat it a bit, but it's more about defending the facade, or whatever it is, it's not even a facade. It's just his version of himself. What we discovered is the emotional line of his character. We reveal your emotional highs and lows, and give you an idea of ​​how much you need to hold on to this character you have created.

"The Disaster Artist" opens in a limited version on December 1st. It expands throughout the country on December 8.

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