James Franco Soars in FLYBOYS - Mania.com

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James Franco Soars in FLYBOYS

By Don E. Peterson     September 21, 2006
Source: Cinescape

Harry Osborne (James Franco) prepares to bring an end to Spider-Man.
© Columbia Pictures
For actor James Franco, research is key to immersing himself in his roles and with his new World War I aerial film FLYBOYS (opening Friday) he decided to get his own pilot's license.

"I'm obsessive about research and I had signed on [to FLYBOYS] four months in advance," explains Franco who says what sealed the deal to get his license was going up in an airplane with the director Tony Bill who is also a pilot. "Tony took me to this great little airport called Santa Paula which was a World War II base. They have these great old planes from World War II and I went up in this open cockpit plane and did all these loops and everything. It was a blast and I thought, 'Well, I have some time, I might as well get my license.' So I went every day and I got it."

Part of his inspiration for FLYBOYS was actor Steve McQueen, who did the film THE WAR LOVER that Franco was particularly fond of.

"He played the pilot and you watch him in and around the plane and it's so natural and detailed, because he was a real pilot," says Franco. "So I hoped to try and come close to that and I felt that maybe the only way was to do it."

In FLYBOYS, Franco plays Blaine Rawlings, a troubled American who heads to France to join the Lafayette Escadrille, an elite group of American pilots in World War I who were sent into battle against the Germans. Inspired by a true story, the film mixes action, adventure and romance and features some incredibly dazzling World War I aerial combat sequences.

"What appealed to me about this, is it's a war film and everything is on the line," says Franco. "The stakes are so high because of the situation and so right off the bat it's a place of great drama. But with the people that I've played, and the character that I play in this film they are people that have volunteered to be there. They're volunteering themselves and putting their lives on the line and I can't say that I've ever done anything like that in my life. Because they do that I have such great respect for them. They're heroes. They're volunteering for something that they believe is the right thing and they're willing to risk everything for that. I think that's really what this movie is about. At the time these men volunteered, America hadn't entered the war. No one wanted to go until they found The Zimmerman Telegram and they were like, 'Okay, we're going to go.' But before that, the country didn't want to go, but these men believed that it was the right thing and they were willing to fight for it and sacrifice for it."

Up next for Franco is SPIDER-MAN 3, reprising his role as Harry Osborn, Peter Parker's former friend and now sworn enemy. This time, Franco will be picking up his father's mantle and become The Green Goblin something that was completely different in contrast to shooting a reality-based film like FLYBOYS.

"Yeah, I guess on SPIDER-MAN, no one really has to swing from building," Franco says with a laugh. And although the Internet is rife with chatter about last minute reshoots on the sequel, Franco says that those rumors are false.

"Oh, there was some quote that was actually much ado about nothing in regard to some test screenings that never took place and there wasn't enough action in it," says Franco. "That was a lot of baloney. I think that I was asked, 'What are you going to be re-shooting?' and I think I said, 'Some actions.' It was just scenes that were already in it that we were only filling out a bit."

Additionally, Franco just wrapped CAMILLE opposite Sienna Miller.

"It's a quirky love story about these two kind of crazy Kentucky kids," he adds. "It's sort of a road trip movie."

And after being in uniform in both FLYBOYS and ANNAPOLIS in the same year, the big question is does he wear a uniform in CAMILLE?

"No," Franco says with a smile, "but I did wear the same tuxedo for the whole movie."


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wasradone 9/21/2006 3:32:06 AM
Franco is a pretty good actor when it comes to being intense. I know it's been said but he's would have been a much better choice for Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the Pre-Star Wars Trilogy EP3. Much more believable and a much better actor by a mile.
thelastonelives 9/21/2006 9:00:08 AM
laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 9/21/2006 2:55:01 PM
Don't you guys get it yet? No. I will tell you then. George Lucas is a terrible director, he has no direction for his actors, he has no input as far as character development is concerned and has no wish to work with actors. His love is his special affects and NEW COLORS! It's because his lack of being an all around director did we get the stiff acting from Hayden Christensen and even Natalie Portman, hell for that matter all the actors and all of them are very good at what they do. George Lucas would not and could not allow his actors of the last three star wars movies to be any better and go any further into there character development because of his lack of knowing how to direct actors...You can certainly see the difference in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi because he did not direct them. The performances where much better.
wasradone 9/21/2006 7:32:23 PM
Hold on, George Lucas is a director? Holy crap, now I get it. I thought he was just a merchandise marketing manager. Anyone should know that nice special effects and colors are nothing without an actual story with believable actors in the foreground to make it watchable. I don't go to the movies to look at the fantastic backgrounds or sets. Look at what the original Star Trek did with styrofoam and paper mache. But yeah, Franco is a good actor, Lucas a hack. Done.
tron2112 9/21/2006 9:13:10 PM
What is all this spite towards George Lucas when the article is about James Franco and his role in FlyBoys? Geeez. You guys really have a hard on for putting Lucas down. Sad Sad Sad. Get over it already! I actually sense a bit of jealousy on you guys part. The man made billions, and he did it with his little ol' Space Opera, and it ticks you all off. Oh well. Sure, the preqrel trilogy wasn't as good the the original, but jeeez, can you guys be any meaner? My 3 kids really enjoyed them, and I liked TPM and Sith a lot. But hey, that's just my opinion on this. It just seemed weird that the responses to this article were nasty comments about Lucas, who wasn't even mentioned in this. Weird.
wasradone 9/21/2006 10:58:18 PM
Yeah, yer right. I'm crackin up just thinking about how we can turn this into a anti-Lucas-a-thon. I guess I just hate him for not choosing decent actors and Franco would've been good, that's all. Death to Lucas :) BTW: Rush rules!!!
gunner 9/22/2006 5:04:37 AM
Lucas: cut! I said CUT!!...Franco, hey franco what the #*@! do you think ya doing? ..what.. your trying to ACT, listen in my movies i dont have actors Jar Jar is our star actor what ya tryin do, beat him to an Oscar? try that stunt again and ya fired got it! ..and Ewan! EWAN! hey i'm talkin ta you! yeah thats right you, that line is too emotional, I want flat! like terminator flat.. ya know "I cannot bear to watch" .. try it again thats it say after me "I CAN'T... BEAR... TO... WATCH" good, good...Chewbacca, hey Chewy!!! ya gettin real on me again...
benthemen 11/5/2008 12:53:55 PM

I'm a huge Franco fan and his new film "Camille" looks to be his best yet.




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