James Franco On Making Bad Movies And Kissing Sean Penn

09/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • GQ

James Franco is on the September 2008 cover of GQ Magazine to promote his latest film, "Pineapple Express." Here's some of what the 30-year-old actor, also know for "Spider-Man," had to say:

On not getting along with the cast of Freaks & Geeks:
"I'll admit I was not a team player. A lot of it, I think, just had to do with being obnoxious when the camera was on someone else. Maybe I'd eat a banana in the background that would take focus away from other actors. I didn't think about it that way, but now I could say, 'Look, the scene's not about me, it's about them, just chill out, James. Don't eat a f---ing banana.' "

On kissing costar Sean Penn in the movie Milk:
"The first kiss of the movie was out on Haight Street, with, like, 200 people watching, outside. I'm sure in the end it will be a really cool shot, but it starts close and then it takes maybe a minute. That's a long time on film with everybody watching, and, like, a fake moustache getting in your mouth. It was long enough that you couldn't help but thinking, 'Oh, my God, I'm kissing Spicoli.'"

On making a few bad films: "I wanted to be the best actor that I could be. It's just sad for me, because I know I worked so hard, and I just feel like in some way I kind of blew it. It's just hard to get away from what I see as the stain of these bad movies."

Franco recalls the moment in time when he had three big movies finished but yet to be released: Flyboys, Tristan & Isolde, and Annapolis. "And I thought, 'Yeah! I got these three movies!' And then I saw them all." It wasn't just the time and sweat he had wasted on-set. For Flyboys, a story of American World War I flying aces, he earned his pilot's license. For Annapolis, a tale of Naval Academy conflict, he did eight months of boxing training. And for Tristan & Isolde, a mythological tale of Anglo-Irish war, romance, and tragedy, "I did fucking sword fighting for eight months. What am I ever going to use that for? And horseback riding." In the script, there was a battle scene on horseback, so Franco learned all these complicated horseback tricks. "Then we got to Prague, or Ireland, and they say, 'Oh yeah, that scene's been cut.' "

To read the full article, visit GQ.com.