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0 January 20th, 2010 James Franco comes forward with “The Truth” of why he did GH!


According to the latest Vulture column on, James Franco spilled the beans on Monday night during a screening of his sundance-bound film, Howl as to why on earth he ended up doing a soap and landed on General Hospital. After all the rumors and all the tidbits, it comes down to this 1) Franco is playing a former soap star in his new film, Maladies. This feature is the actor’s second joint-venture with the artist, Carter 2) Franco has been a long time fan of soaps since he was a kid!

From Vulture: “The idea came to him while preparing a second movie with the artist Carter. The new film (which will also feature Catherine Keener) is called Maladies, and Franco plays a former soap star. “Now, just because I’m playing a character who was formerly on a soap opera doesn’t mean I had to go on a soap opera, right?” said Franco. “So going on General Hospital isn’t directly related to Maladies. But we got to talking, like, ‘Hey, what if I really did a soap opera? That would be kind of amazing!’”

“It turns out Franco has been a soap fan for a long time. “I was home sick a lot because I didn’t like school when I was little,” he said. “So if I wasn’t watching my VHS copy of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or Whoopi Goldberg’s movie Jumping Jack Flash — because those were the only two movies we had the foresight to record — I guess I was watching soap operas.” So he called up the folks at General Hospital, who were, of course, ecstatic. He only gave them one bit of direction: “I said, ‘I want to play an artist, and I want him to be crazy.’ And they wrote this character that was better than I could have ever asked for. It was their idea to call the character Franco. I said, ‘That’s crazy. Thank you.’” It was only after he’d signed up that he decided to bring his own crew along to film the filming, he said, “because I wanted to really have ownership over the piece.” (This footage would be part of his yet-to-be-confirmed performance-art show at Deitch Projects’ Long Island City space this spring).  And, in true meta form, that show might in turn be taped for a special episode of General Hospital.  Franco said the soap has made him a better actor. He recently auditioned for the role of Aron Ralston, the real-life trapped hiker who amputated his own arm with a pocket knife, in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire follow-up, 127 Hours. The director asked him to quickly memorize and deliver his audition speech, and Franco nailed it. “Because I had just done General Hospital, where I was doing 77 pages a day, I can memorize like that,” he said snapping his fingers. “I have to give credit to General Hospital for being able to memorize like that, and I got the part!”

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