James Franco has been in some very successful movies, from the blockbuster Spider-Man series to the Oscar-nominated 127 Hours to his stoner-buddy comedies with Seth Rogen, but he doesn’t have a signature role. When I look at Franco, I don’t see Harry Osborn, or Saul Silver, or one-half of Tristan and Isolde — I see James Franco (to be fair, when he smiles, I see Daniel Desario).
That’s why Franco’s occasionally brilliant, oft-maddening career is all over the place. The same year he starred in Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful, he directed a tiny adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, played Hugh Hefner in Lovelace, and produced a documentary about Kink.com. He doesn’t want a signature role, particularly if it has anything to do with Spider-Man.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter about 11.22.63, J.J. Abrams’ time travel miniseries for Hulu, Franco was asked whether there’s anything he’d change about his life. It’s not hard to read between these lines.
“I would say yes, there are certain things that you just would want to warn people about, but on the other hand, if I look back at just the small events of my own life, I know that sometimes the hardest things I had to go through or the most adverse things I had to experience are the things that changed me for the better. Just a really small example is, when I was younger, I did a series of movies that I really didn’t like. I worked really hard on them, but they weren’t movies that I cared about. And after they came out, I just felt so awful. So I could say, ‘oh, I would go back and not do those movies,’ but in fact by doing those movies, I realized, ‘oh, never make decisions based on career or what other people tell you anymore.’ Only do projects that you care about, that you believe in, and that idea really just came out of having a bad experience on those movies.” (Via the Hollywood Reporter)
Franco never explicitly mentions Spider-Man, or that time he gave Pussy Posse member Tobey Maguire an atomic wedgie (probably). But unless there’s an Annapolis 2 and Annapolis 3 I don’t know about, it’s clear he’s talking about Sam Raimi’s web-slinging series. Franco’s just mad he never got to dance.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)