James Franco is Good Time Max

04/30/2007 01:36 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

James Franco could be forgiven his exhaustion as he gamely chatted with reporters before the premiere of Good Time Max in Tribeca Sunday night. Just back from a weeklong press junket for Spider-Man 3, which had him in a different country every day, he was also gearing up for tonight's massive New York premiere. Franco plays Peter Parker's former best friend Harry Osborn in the films.

Wearing a stained suit, facial scruff and a sleepy-eyed grin, Franco compared Good Time Max, which he directed, co-wrote and stars in, to the epic trilogy. "Spider-Man 3 is one of the biggest movies ever, this is one of the smallest. As an actor I feel like my work is on display with both, but I'm part of a bigger picture when I direct."

The film follows two gifted brothers whose paths diverge as one becomes a surgeon and the other dabbles in drug use, drug dealing and bouts of unemployment. Franco cast himself as the miscreant, Max. Why? "It was really just a process of elimination. I was better suited for this role than the responsible surgeon." The role gave Franco the opportunity to direct himself blowing lines of cocaine, snorting and smoking crystal meth, and defecating on a living room floor. And he manages to keep Max sympathetic throughout.

Introducing the film, Franco credited everyone else involved for the its strengths, adding, "Whatever you see that you don't like is my fault." The everyone else includes actors from a company he used to be a part of that he cast in the film. He also thanked Robert De Niro, who he cites as a role model. De Niro handpicked Franco to play his son in 2002's City by the Sea after seeing his turn as James Dean in a TV biopic.

Asked what had him more nervous, the massive film premieres in which he just acts or the smaller pictures in which he has multiple roles, Franco smiled and shrugged. "Nervous? I'm just excited."

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Franco at the Good Time Max premiere, from Getty

For more HuffPost coverage of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, go here.

- Katherine Thomson