James Franco has adapted a handful of novels into directorial projects. Over the years, he’s had a few of his famous friends lend in a helping hand in star roles. Some of those include names like Mila Kunis, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jessica Chastain — that’s only to name a few.
So who is Franco’s muse? Well, it’s not any of those names up there, that’s for sure. Instead, Franco said that it’s leading man Scott Haze, who he calls his Leonardo DiCaprio to his Martin Scorsese.
In Haze’s short career, he’s had roles in Franco’s Child of God, As I Lay Dying, and now The Sound and the Fury. During an interview at the Toronto Film Festival to promote their film, Franco offered up the following praise.
“Scott is one of my favorite actors. I would call him my De Niro. Umm, I would call him my Leo. He’s more my Leo.”
When The Inquisitrinterviewed Franco for Child of God, he elaborated on working frequently with actors like Kunis, Rogen, and Haze.
“Movies work best when they’re collaborative. I want to go into a movie and discover things. I want these different elements to come together and find magic there. When you have people that you’ve worked with before, it means that the actors understand what kind of director you are. You’re already on that path with them, so all the energy can be spent exploring that character.”
Franco’s friendship and collaborative relationship with Haze didn’t appear out of thin air. The two go back to 2001, when they met after Haze’s theater performance in The Beach Play. Haze set the scene for Variety back in July.
“I met James well over 10 years ago in Hollywood, in the back of a parking lot. He came and saw a play I was in called ‘The Beach Play,’ and he told me he liked my performance. James’ face was all over Hollywood then, and I was like, ‘That’s the dude that just played James Dean” [in 2001 TV movie ‘James Dean’].”
As for Haze, it’s easy to say that working for James has set him on a good path in terms of achieving mainstream success, even though his major works with Franco are fringe films.
His first role sans Franco will be in Jeff Nichols’ film Midnight Special with Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst, and Joel Edgerton. As for his projects with Franco, the pair still has Bukowski. Not too shabby.
[Image via Well Go USA Entertainment]