When James Franco debuted in the Spring Breakers trailer as a gun touting, loud mouthed rapper Alien, some people wondered who he was trying to imitate, or at least where he received inspiration from to create such a dynamic role. While rapper Riff Raff claimed that Franco stepped into a role he was said to portray, but ultimately had to drop out of, it turns out rapper Riff Raff wasn’t the original inspiration behind the character’s swagger like he claimed to be.
Instead, Franco reveals to MTV his main inspiration in the form of a music video. Franco and “thug life” rapper Dangeruss sat down with MTV to reveal their collaborated music video, that sees Franco behind the camera directing the rapper for his “Dope Boyz” music video. In addition to collaborating with Dangeruss, Franco also worked with film editors Andinh Ha and Pau Dalmases to create a truly trippy rap video, a first for the man who has directed music videos for REM.
Of his connection with rapper Dangeruss, Franco told MTV:
“One of the last videos Harmony sent me was of a white guy in dreads, sitting in his car, rapping about Dope Boyz. This turned out to be Dangeruss, a local rapper who Harm had met at an audition and knew immediately that he was the real deal. He thought I should use Dangeruss as a main source of inspiration for my Florida gangster/mystic, Alien.”
About the process of creating the music video Franco said:
“Danger and I rapped onstage together for the film. It was a rush. We had an audience of hundreds on the beach, MTV style. It was my first live rap appearance. He led me through. I felt like a gangster. I didn’t want the relationship with Dangeruss to end so I asked him if I could film him for a video. I liked the idea of shooting him doing his daily routine, simple and autobiographical like his music.”
Now that we’ve seen both Dangeruss and Riff Raff, and of course Franco as his character Alien, who do you think the actor resembles the most?