The first time I met James Franco was on the set of “Pineapple Express.” It was the afternoon where they were shooting the car chase where he put his foot through the windshield of the police car while driving, and watching them stage the gag and watching Franco work through the beat with his director, David Gordon Green, was an interesting glimpse into what seemed at the time like a bit of a course correction in terms of career for him.
After all, when you look at Franco, he’s a leading man type, but as has become perfectly clear over the last few years, he’s a much more eccentric guy than that, and his choices seem to indicate that whatever path Hollywood would like him to follow, he probably won’t. I love that hot on the heels of Oscar nominations for both Franco and Natalie Portman, the two are appearing in “Your Highness,” which will most likely not be nominated for anything at next year’s Academy Awards except, perhaps, “Best Joke About Being Molested By A Puppet.”
Franco and Danny McBride together is a whole lot of personality for one room, and I walked in hoping to have some fun talking to the two of them about their work in “Your Highness,” and specifically about creating that dynamic between brothers that is central to their work in the film.
It’s funny… I was just talking the other day with someone about this, and these video interviews are totally different from the long-form interviews I sometimes do in print. It’s a different skill set. You’re not looking to do the defining piece on someone’s work here. You’re looking for a moment, a sound bite, a little bit of charm that sums up something about the movie.
With these guys, thanks to a comfort level that already exists from prior conversations and thanks to just how silly and fun the movie is, it was an easy six minute conversation to have, and nothing but enjoyable. I’ll also have a chat with Justin Theroux and my talk with David Gordon Green coming later in the week for you, both of which were equally entertaining.
“Your Highness” opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.