James Franco is everywhere these days.
He's starring in Sam Raimi’s Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful, which is at the top of the box office numbers. He plays Hugh Hefner in the upcoming Linda Lovelace bio-pic, and he co-directed the very gay, and very explicit, reimagining of Al Pacino’s controversial 1980s film Cruising, called Interior. Leather Bar.
He also has a leading role as a suave gangster in Harmony Korine’s hedonistic romp Spring Breakers, which also stars Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson.
“I think Harmony wanted to transform me and make it so you didn’t recognize me” Franco says of his character.
With metal grills in his mouth, corn-braided hair and a smattering of tattoos, Franco looks nothing like the movie star we have seen in cologne advertisements and Hollywood blockbusters.
Spring Breakers played to sold-out audiences and rapturous applause at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2012 and at SXSW in Austin.
The film opens in limited release in New York City and Los Angeles on March 15. It will be released in Canada on Friday, March 29.
Below are excerpts of Franco and Korine discussing the film at TIFF in 2012.