James Franco plays the swashbuckling and sexy Prince Fabius in the upcoming Your Highness. When his lady love is kidnapped by an evil wizard, he and his ne'er-do-well brother, played by his former Pineapple Express costar Danny McBride, set out on a quest to rescue her. Hijinks, sword fights, and stoner humor ensue. James was on hand for the movie's recent press day in Beverly Hills, where he talked about gearing up for the movie's fight scenes, the secret to a solid bromance, and why he's still pursuing his college career despite his success as an actor. Here are some highlights:
- On the attention his college career has gotten: "Well, it's hard. It's out of my hands, really. I really went to school for myself, and sometimes I forget that it's not actually a public act. I'm there to learn and better myself and that part of my life is not a performance, but in some ways, it kind of has become material for public discussion, to the point where The New York Times is like, interviewing my teachers. But I don't mind. I'm proud of everything I'm doing. I guess it's just that part of my life is a performance, and I perform as a job, and then part of it's kind of not. But what can you do? I can't control it."
- On why people think he's so busy: "Well, there's also this phenomenon where people do like to announce movies that they think I'm doing that I'm not. Somebody just doesn't have time to do all the movies that people claim that I'm going to do. Or, I have acquired the rights to a lot of books that I love, and I think it helps the writers to sell their books if they announce my attachment. But it doesn't mean I'm going to make the movies in the next year or two or three."
- On brushing up his sword skills for Your Highness: "Danny was the writer, so he conveniently wrote his character as someone who was very bad with swords so he didn't have to train at all. I trained a bit, but I had done literally nine months of training, seven days a week, for Tristan and Isolde, because I was a young actor that didn't know that was insane. And I didn't get to use much of it in that film, so I got to use it in this movie."
For the rest of James's interview, just
- On his favorite funny moment from the film: "I think we had a hard time with the wise wizard, too. Because we were acting with a puppet, and we were short on time that day, so it was actually causing problems that we couldn't finish it. So that was a scene that was hard to do."
- On the movies that inspired his performance: "The first film I ever saw in a movie theater when I was very young was The Dark Crystal. And I'd see that repeatedly in the theater, and then The Neverending Story, and the original Clash of the Titans. We'd watch that. They're a little hokey now, but they still have a lot of charm."
- On the secret to Your Highness's bromance: "Somebody earlier today said we might have ruined this genre for anyone that wants to treat it seriously, because it really is hard to make an earnest fantasy film, and until Lord of the Rings and maybe the Harry Potter series, there haven't been too many that have been embraced by an older audience. Usually they were thought of as kids' films. So actually, I kind of played the character pretty earnestly, and because it's a comedy, we can get away with a lot of the cheesiness that can maybe hurt a film that's completely earnest. Then you can actually address some of the real feelings and real dynamics between brothers and jealousy . . . That's kind of the secret of bromances. You can talk about relationships between guys and brothers because it's a comedy, and if it wasn't a comedy, it would probably just be boring or cheesy."