James Franco: I have to be emotionally engaged to act

James Franco can’t act unless he is emotionally engaged in what he is doing.

The 37-year-old is best known for movie roles including 127 Hours, the Spider-Man trilogy and Pineapple Express but last year (14) he made his Broadway debut in Of Mice and Men. James enjoyed the challenge of channelling his emotions every night in front of a live audience and didn’t find it difficult to cry during each performance.

“I did it every single night and maybe the people on the upper levels couldn’t see it but the people down below could see it,” he told Britain’s Metro newspaper. “I can’t act unless I’m emotionally engaged and after a while I would always go there when I had to shoot Lennie.”

James played George in the adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel, while Irish actor Chris O’Dowd starred as Lennie, a mentally disabled man. The stars got on well during the show’s run and James had nothing but praise for how committed Chris was to getting the American accent spot on.

“He was great,” he continued. “Chris was very into the character so he had a whole ritual, especially during the rehearsal period, where he would walk – and he didn’t live close to the studio – as Lennie, talking as his character.”

James loved his theatre experience and is glad to have added another string to his professional bow. Alongside acting, the star has directed movies such as Palo Alto, which was adapted from the book he wrote of the same name. James also sings, paints and teaches acting classes at Palo Alto High School, and admits he can no longer restrict himself to one medium.

“I sort of feel like it’s all connected, you know,” he explained. “It’s really just about having something I want to do and figure out what’s the best form to do it in.”

– Cover Media

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