I lay on the beach with James Franco and talked about art. Read the interview in the December 2013 issue of Dazed and Confused magazine. Here's a snippet.
James Franco really wants some coffee. He's tired. He’s just flown in from a shoot in Canada, modeled for Dazed’s cover and tonight he’s filming again. In the morning he’s teaching a class at UCLA and then getting on a plane to Mississippi, where he is shooting his film adaptation of William Faulkner’s classic, The Sound and the Fury. Being James Franco, actor-director-writer-artist-teacher-student-PhD candidate-multi-hyphenate-object-of-desire, obviously requires excellent time management. It also requires coffee. But here, on the Venice Beach boardwalk on a Sunday afternoon, there’s not a cup of Joe in sight.
He’s wearing a black t-shirt bearing the word “Fassbinder”, a homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder the German auteur, but in Spinal Tap lettering. In that it merges the experimental with the ironic, the high brow with the playful, it really is the perfect shirt for James Franco to be wearing right now. Or as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel would say, “This is my exact inner structure, done in a tee shirt.” We start to discuss how the duality of James Franco, mainstream actor and auteur, both feed and muddy one another. He answers questions lying on his side, one hand making shapes in the sand. Rarely making direct eye contact, his Ray Bans point towards the crashing waves of the Pacific. Perhaps he's dreaming of a macchiato.
"People look at roles I've done in Milk or as Allen Ginsberg and it all kind of projects back on my persona, this public persona that has been created of "James Franco", this weird thing that has been created around me that is me and yet it's not me. It's partly my creation and yet not my creation, so I just use it. Art, for me, is about finding a free space outside of that persona, where I can mix it up. There, I can just kind of play and be free."