James Franco sat down with the latest issue of Playboy to chat about everything from co-hosting the Oscars to why he quit Twitter, but he also opens up about subjects like Twilight, bad press and yes, his rumored former fling Lindsay Lohan!
On haters trashing his upcoming film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, James says, “Here’s my guess: Critics will be out to kill this movie and blame me for it just because they are out to kill me. Last year people were pretty nice. This is the year when people are going to have fun going after me.” Yikes! So what about gossip bloggers? “People from these horrible blogs came to my book party for Palo Alto last year. Normally I don’t care, but it’s like your worst enemy showing up at your birthday party, like, ‘Why are you here? Get the f*** out of my party.’ But it gave me a chance to see that a lot of the people writing for these blogs are just people my age who are in the same writing programs I was — or trying to get into those programs. So it was like, ‘Oh, so you’re just one of my classmates who doesn’t like me. That’s what this is all about?’”
So did harsh criticism from various media outlets have anything to do with his decision to quit Twitter? He explains, "Someone at an event asked, ‘Why is your Twitter account closed?’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’s over. I’m not on it anymore,’ and suddenly it became ‘James Franco declares social media is over.’ Which is like saying nobody’s going to talk on the telephone anymore."
After Planet of the Apes bombs hits theaters, the Oscar nominee may be looking for new projects, and it sounds like he has his eye on the Twilight franchise! "I had my agent tell [director] Bill Condon that I’d’ be happy to do anything in Breaking Dawn, but that was because it was supposed to be part of a multimedia project at Yale. I was working with a Yale undergraduate who had written an autobiographical play about putting on a theatrical production of Twilight in which I was a character. So I was interested in Twilight because I was going to be part of that play. I thought what a great connection it would be if I were also involved with the real Twilight.”
James also reveals that he was a bit of a bad boy growing up, and he compares his own troubles to none other than one of his famous former flames. "I was arrested for a lot of petty crimes," he says. "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."
When the topic of conversation shifted to the 2011 Oscars, James had plenty to share with Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello. On his initial response when approached about hosting the Oscars, the actor said, "When they asked me to do it, I laughed and said, ‘How am I going to get out of this?" Hmm, we assumed he would have been a little excited, but he continues to complain about scoring the opportunity of a lifetime! "[The Oscars telecast] is hard to talk about because it’s like assigning blame. They told me they knew I wasn’t Chris Rock and that they had designed the show around me … 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.'"
James continued, "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."
Though no one is sure why his stint as a host was such a failure, the actor insists it wasn't drugs. "I was trying to do the best job I could," he whined. "I didn’t try to sabotage the show. I didn’t get high. I went to the rehearsals I said I was going to. I played the lines as I thought they should be played.”
What do you think about James' comments? Is he full of it or making sense?
Photo courtesy of Fame Pictures