James Franco Poster

Quotes (24)

  • I needed an outlet in high school and came across painting. I've actually been painting longer than I've been acting. A movie is a collaborative effort, and with painting you just have yourself.
  • [if he ever finds time to relax] Never. It's an impossibility. I don't even like to sleep. I feel as if there's too much to do.
  • [what he looks for in a girl] Just someone I can relate to artistically and who can also be understanding and supportive of the demands of my lifestyle.
  • When I was a child, I wanted to be an actor, but I had really bad buck teeth. I didn't want to get braces, but my mom said I couldn't be an actor if I didn't get the braces. So, I got the braces.
  • I worked at a McDonald's drive-through. I could always tell when girls were interested: They'd drive around again and say, "I forgot something."
  • Acting is an art form and you want to take roles that are challenged and it's more of a challenge I think to play dark characters. Not that I want to always play those, but it is a challenge and challenges are rewarding and fun.
  • You know, directors kind of want different things. Some of them think that if they just are always talking to you and keeping your spirits up and everything that it helps you, and then some leave you alone and give you your space.
  • [why he played gay characters multiple times] It's funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white. It's all cut-and-dry identity politics. 'Is he straight or is he gay?' Or, 'This is your third gay movie - come out already!' And all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality. There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys. And there are also lots of other aspects about these characters that I'm interested in, in addition to their sexuality. So, in some ways it's coincidental, in other ways it's not. I mean, I've played a gay man who's living in the '60s and '70s, a gay man who we depicted in the '50s, and one being in the '20s. And those were all periods when to be gay, at least being gay in public, was much more difficult. Part of what I'm interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe I'm just gay.
  • [on using the videos trapped hiker Aron Ralston had made, in order to portray him in 127 Hours (2010)] He's not an actor giving a Shakespeare death soliloquy. He didn't want to lose himself because that would make it harder for his mother to watch. I knew that if I captured that, somehow, it would feel very authentic and powerful.
  • [on accepting a position as a teacher at New York University] I've been very fortunate. I had to work hard but had opportunities to do everything that I wanted. That's one of the reasons I'm teaching. I'm trying to give back to other people. That's what I guess I want to do now - continue to be creative in a way that I can give back.
  • [observation while producing a documentary about the adult industry] When I was young, I got a video camera and my girlfriend and I decided to film ourselves and watched it back and said, 'Yeah, well, let's never watch that again'. Those performers in pornos, they are great performers. They're not just doing it. They're selling it to an audience.
  • [on being a troubled youth] I was arrested for a lot of petty crimes. It added up. I was a ward of the court and was put on probation. Finally, I'd had enough chances, but they gave me one final chance, and, fortunately, I didn't get into any trouble after that. Otherwise, I guess it could have been like Lindsay Lohan, when she's on probation and then she's accused of stealing a necklace, and it's a kind of small thing that becomes a big thing. It's like probation doesn't end. [2011]
  • [on his earliest jobs] When I was 13 or 14 my dad got me a job working the counter at a coffee shop. It sucked. I read books when the place was empty and got let go when the assistant manager told the boss he'd found $2 in one of the aprons and said I was trying to steal. It turns out he had taken, like, $10,000. Later, when I wanted a car and my parents said they'd match whatever I could pay, I got a job driving carts at the Palo Alto Golf Course. I would read stuff like "Naked Lunch" in the cart, and they let me go when they caught me reading the sequel to "A Separate Peace". Another summer I got a job with a friend on his father's construction crew, but we just got high every day... I was (also) given an internship at Lockheed Martin. But that experience showed me I never wanted to work in that environment. [2011]
  • [on the failure of Your Highness (2011)] I didn't write that movie. I was just doing my job. I think I'm fine in it. They knew there were problems with that movie a year ago. Just because it comes out after the Oscars, it's like "Oh, here's backlash". Well, you have the year's 'Best Actress' Oscar winner in it, so wouldn't that boost ticket sales? And people want to blame me for that? It's just ridiculous. There's this feeling about me like, "He's doing too many things. Let's get him". [2011]
  • [on hosting the Oscars] It's hard to talk about because it's like assigning blame - not a fun thing to do. For three or four weeks, we shot the promos and the little film that played in the opening. In the last week, when we really started focusing on the script for the live show and did a run-through, I said to the producer, "I don't know why you hired me, because you haven't given me anything. I just don't think this stuff's going to be good". After the show, everybody was so happy, and Bruce Cohen, the show's producer, hugged me and said, "Steven Spielberg just told me it was the best Oscars ever!" As far as having low energy or seeming as though I wasn't into it or was too cool for it, I thought, Okay, Anne Hathaway is going the enthusiastic route. I've been trained as an actor to respond to circumstances, to the people I'm working with, and not to force anything. So I thought I would be the straight man and she could be the other, and that's how I was trying to do those lines. I felt kind of trapped in that material. I felt, 'This is not my boat. I'm just a passenger, but I'm going down and there's no way out'. [2011]
  • [on his first short film & being a workaholic] I don't know, but the first short film I ever directed, years before I even went to film school at NYU, is about a boy who is introduced to the concept of his own mortality when his goldfish dies. He says to his parents, "I don't want to die," and though they say he shouldn't worry because there's plenty of time, they don't really comfort him. So he thinks, I have to do everything now. He gets a neighbor girl to marry him, gets a job, starts a family. Although I've changed and relaxed a bit, my behavior shows I've thought along those lines for quite a while. [2011]
  • [on the show Girls (2012)] I am fine watching a show about women dealing with men. I watched Steel Magnolias (1989) when I was in junior high school and I can get off on female bonding. Done right. It's more interesting than male bonding. I'm also aware that I may just be giving myself too much credit: for all I know, but for the grace of Judd Apatow, I could be just like those struggling male idiots I see on the show.
  • [on the moment that his successful film career failed to meet his artistic expectations] I remember getting ready to do the third 'Spiderman', just thinking, I don't know if I can take it again. If I can take all the work that doesn't seem to have a payoff that is equal to the effort. As soon as I started branching out and pursuing my other interests I could say, 'OK... it's a place where more earnest kinds of exploration can happen.'
  • There's this public persona that's 'James Franco' that's half my creation but half of it isn't. Half of it's what other people write about me or how they perceive me. [His art is] a way of using... an image that other people have created and re-presenting it.
  • [on his comedic Bar Mitzvah, as he received the Hasty Pudding 2009 Man of the Year award] ...actually really touching. I'm Jewish, my mother's Jewish, but I wasn't raised Jewish. I guess I wasn't a man until tonight.
  • [on directing himself as an actor] I've done it many times before - it's something I've grown used to. As a director you're viewing everything from above or the outside. You just want to make sure all the pieces are working well together. I've acted in enough films that I can feel it from the inside, like okay, this is right... I actually don't like to do it. I enjoy directing other actors more. I enjoy the collaboration between directors and actors so much that - if I can get away with not being in a movie that I'm directing - I will.
  • [on Marlon Brando] Brando's performances revolutionized American acting precisely because he didn't seem to be "performing," in the sense that he wasn't putting something on as much as he was being. Off-screen he defied the studio system's control over his image, allowing his weight to fluctuate, choosing roles that were considered beneath him and turning down the Oscar for best actor in 1973. These were acts of rebellion against an industry that practically forces an actor to identify with his persona while at the same time repeatedly wresting it from him.
  • [on 4 luni, 3 saptam├óni si 2 zile (2007), one of his 5 favourite films] Again, a very simple approach, but there's so much power in that film. You're not quite sure what's happening from the beginning, but you're just kind of thrown into it. All you know is that these women have this mysterious meeting, and it takes you from there. The film gives you a great sense of what it was really like to live in Romania in the 1980s. [2009]
  • I'm gay in my art and straight in my life. [2017]