Last night’s James Franco tribute at the Santa Barbara Film Festival started out badly due to Franco arriving on stage almost exactly an hour late, apparently due to an Oscar rehearsal session running late. But after he finally sat down with interviewer Leonard Maltin, Franco was so Zen and relaxed and articulate in a kind of shoulder-shrugging way that he wound up seeming like the coolest, most spiritually together guest this festival has ever hosted.
He just didn’t try to “turn on the charm” or project or win anyone over. He just sat there and smiled or smirked when the mood struck and just let it all happen, man…whatever. Well, not “whatever” but a kind of “I’m easy, I’ll talk, sure…no worries.”
The above clip is of Franco describing his process of realizing that he had to leave all the weird dramas behind and get back to his Freaks & Geeks roots and being a loose-shoe stoner again in Pineapple Express.
And then Seth Rogen came on at the finale to present the award. He was really on it with his usual rascally energy mixed with a kind of roast-riff attitude. Just watch the clip — he was perfect.
I still say Franco should have made a bigger effort to be on time. Saying that a rehearsal went on too long is the same as saying “my car ran out of gas” or “I had to drive down to the pound and get my dog” or “my girlfriend threw all my clothes out of the second story window and I had to pick them all up and take the nice ones down to the cleaners” or “I was in the shower and it felt so good to just stand there with all that wonderful steaming hot water covering me that I stayed in the shower for about an hour and subsequently lost track of time.”