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James Franco writes about the art of acting and the value of soap operas

06.22.2010

In between showcasing his chiseled features and surprising comic timing, James Franco enjoys waxing philosophical about working in "the biz".

In an essay called "The Limits of Control" over at Lapham's Quarterly, the future ape-fighter addresses the perception of actors and how performances and people should be differentiated.

An excerpt: I suppose one could look at an actor’s entire career and derive some enduring qualities of the person. But what if an actor was only cast in awful roles? What if we only had John Casavettes the actor and not the director? The actor Cassevetes was an entertaining and wily persona in movies like Rosemary’s Baby or The Dirty Dozen, but the wild, sexual, passionate intelligence that Cassevetes brought to the performances in his own films was something entirely different, derived from the freedom that comes with control. So an actor is his roles and he isn’t.

Franco also defends his stint on soap operas: The soap opera performance should always be perceived in context: it involves actors working in a tradition that soap audiences have come to expect and love. Soap actors are delivering exactly what they are supposed to—they are in tune with their audience and they are not attempting to transcend it. If Brando had tried to play Terry Malloy in a soap, he wouldn’t have had the time to sculpt the performance into the brooding, tortured, nuanced emotional force that won him an Oscar. The contender wouldn’t have been a somebody, instead he’d just have been another mumbling dope with bad eye makeup.

It's a pretty interesting piece, check out the whole article HERE.

Extra Tidbit: After you read that, check out Franco's amusing entries at Funny or Die.

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