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James Franco in 'Neglect'Gabrielle Demeestere

James Franco, as interviewed by his favourite filmmakers

The Visionaries curator talks to his top directors about bad jokes, film, and himself

Multi-hyphenate actor-director-writer James Franco is on the cover of our December 2013 issue and takes over our Dazed Visionaries film series this week with three original films and commissions. When he wasn't roleplaying in a Tennessee Williams-inspired short or curating a Ryan McNamara film about cats and self-loathing, he also selected three of his favourite filmmakers doing something truly innovative with the moving image for interview. This includes answering the immortal question: "What was with all the tears after the first time we did it?"

Meet Interior. Leather Bar. director Travis Mathews, Rhode Island School of Design student Nicole Poor, and Brooklyn filmmaker Gabrielle Demeestere, who is currently working with Franco on Yosemite, an adaptation of his short story.  


Travis Mathews: A lot has been said about James Franco the multi-hyphenate. Sticking strictly to the arts, what are you not interested in exploring and why?

James Franco: Cooking. I don't like when the art disappears. I like when things last.

Travis Mathews: Pick a single film from each of the last 4 decades that has left a lasting influence on you and your work.

James FrancoRebel Without a CauseDr. StrangeloveFive Easy PiecesRaging BullMy Own Private IdahoThe Child by the Dardenne brothers.

Travis Mathews: What was with all the tears after the first time we did it? I meant to ask but you were gone in the morning. 

James Franco: Because I love you so much.


Nicole Poor: If you could have anyone in the world (living or dead) create a portrait of "James Franco" who you ask?

James Franco: Richard Prince.

Nicole PoorDo you find yourself thinking more about your past, present or future? 

James FrancoAll. I draw on the past to write, the present for art and the future for cinema.

Nicole Poor: If you had to choose a single place to live the rest of your life where would that be?

James FrancoNew York.


Gabrielle Demeestere: What do you fear most? 

James Franco: Boredom.

Gabrielle Demeestere: What advice would your current self give your 10-year-old self?

James Franco:  Just have fun. Enjoy what you do. Find what you love and pursue it with abandon.

Gabrielle DemeestereWhat's your favorite one liner or go-to joke?

James Franco:  A man walks into a therapist's office wearing Saran Wrap underwear. The therapist says, "Well, clearly I can see your nuts."