It seems even James Franco can't take himself seriously anymore. The infamous multi-hyphenate has teamed up with AOL for a new web series Making a Scene, in which Franco and his friends remix iconic film scenes with other movies and genres.
The launch for the series was held at the satirically trendy Neuehouse in lower Manhattan, a space that describes itself as a "post-modernist 'machine for creating'... intended for solopreneurs" in its manifesto (because of course the place hosting a James Franco event has a manifesto).
During the screening, which featured mash-ups of Batman with Beetlejuice,Dirty Dancing with Reservoir Dogs and more, Franco repeatedly found himself face-palming at his own work. "They ended up being really funny — not intentionally," Franco remarked at one point.
And warning: If you ever get the opportunity to meet Franco, don't expect him to look at you or visually acknowledge your existence in any way. You see, us Normals — which even includes the event's moderator — aren't worthy of Mr. Fracno's eye contact during a conversation. That special privilege is reserved for ceilings, walls and the snickering posse he surrounded himself with all night.
But is anyone really shocked that James Franco doesn't make eye contact? No. Because he's James Franco and he's f---ing weird. Need more proof? Check out the 9 most James Franco things he actually said at the launch of Making a Scene with James Franco.
1. On how he's not to blame if people hate his show: "We went to the fans and said, 'Tell us what you want to recreate and we'll do it.' It's already taking off some sort of pressure. Like, 'I didn't choose these scenes! I'm just doing what the people want!' And then we didn't choose the mashups: the mashup of genre, the mashup of two scenes together. And so we're already going into it without this certain kind of creative control which could read as audacity otherwise. Like you're saying, 'Oh, there are great people who love The Shining.' Well, I'm not saying I'm Kubrick. I'm just doing what the people want."
2. On how this project is really just a means to an end: "[Sighs] If I do this and I do other comedies, in a weird way ... it creates a space for me to do something that contrasts with this. In a weird way, comedy creates good will. Not all the time. There are comedians that try to do drama that aren't as accepted. But for whatever reason in my case, if I do things like this then it's sort of like, one for them and then I get to do a Faulkner adaptation that's for me."
3. On how even his love for Dirty Dancing is pretentious: "I really like the idea of a camp that adults go to. Not that I really liked camp that much when I was young, but I like that idea of going to camp when you're older. There's a book called Act One by Moss Hart, who was a great playwright, and in his book he started directing plays at one of these camps back in the old days, early 1900s. So I always liked that idea. And Swayze's such a badass in it"
4. On the lengths he'd go to get a role: "At one point, Jack Nicholson was supposed to be in that Tim Burton movie Big Fish. And there's a character, his son, who I think was eventually played by Billy Crudup. And I can remember when I was a young actor I wanted to work with Jack Nicholson so badly that I got a photo of young Jack Nicholson and then made myself kind of look like him and did the eyebrows and everything. And sent both pictures into the casting director. But he didn't do the movie."
5. On the struggles of being deemed NSFW: "Those bleeps are so lame. Why is it being censored? It's stupid."
6. On how he won't stand for AOL's prudishness: "There was some — I can't talk about it because it's too dirty for AOL — but stuff that got all over me and my eyes and mouth. We'll see if you guys get to see it or not. Maybe the fans can petition AOL for them to be not so... PG."
7. On how he was actually just joshing AOL when he called them "stupid" and asked fans to petition: "I understand about sponsorship and that kind of thing. I was not demanding my rights out there [during the screening] indignantly or anything. I just was lightly teasing my sponsors and I think in the end they're going to come around. So I was just trying to have some fun."
8. On working with big stars: "I actually worked with Kevin Federline, although he didn't make the cut. He was — God, I hope I'm not spoiling this for him — he was originally going to be in The Interview and just for time reasons he's not. But I got to work with him. He's a really, really nice guy. He didn't have any cornrows."
9. On being a proud member of Team Edward: "Oh yeah. I've seen all the Twilights. ... I was intrigued. I saw the last one when I was in Rome. It was in Italian. There were no subtitles. But I have seen them all. I've listened to the commentary on some of them too."
The first four episodes of Making a Scene are available now on AOL.