“It has a very unique and dark narrative to it that was very intriguing,” Franco says of the film, which is part noir, part black comedy, and part softcore porn. “So, I thought it was doing a lot of disrupting.”
While much can be said about Franco’s choice in films, especially the roles that seem to play on the media’s own fascination about his persona, something should also be said about the sheer amount of projects he produces. In 2013, Franco wrote, directed, produced or starred in 10 different films. The following year (a slow one), it was five. And in 2015, it was 11. This year, he has four films slated for release plus a starring role in the Hulu original series, 11.22.63.
“There's nothing more frustrating or disappointing to me than when you have a great idea, and for whatever reason, it just doesn't happen,” Franco says. He seeks out people who “will do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
And many of those projects of the past three years include frequent collaborators, such as Kelly; Slater, who also appears in The Adderall Diaries, which is now in theaters; and Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, both of whom have co-starred in Franco’s more mainstream films. The actor's other film premiering at the festival, The Fixer, was directed by Ian Olds, who co-directed the experimental project, Francophrenia: (or: Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is).
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“When I have a good relationship with someone, now I just hold on to it. Like, let's do more,” Franco says of his ever-expanding circle of friends. “I think I'm pretty fair now too. So, if Christian comes to me and is like, 'Dude, I want you to play whatever,' I will probably do it for him, because he's shown up for us.”
“It creates a community and it kind of gives us a little more power and agency over what we want to do and make what we want to do,” he continues. “If we make them at a certain level, we don't have to go to studios or get approved. It's like, 'All right, you do this and we'll make it happen. And I'll do one for you and we'll make that happen.'
And for Franco, the disruptive nature of what he does -- and how often he does it -- is what seems to satisfy him most. “It's great and very empowering.”