Belfast Telegraph

Franco: Palo Alto shows devil me

James Franco's Palo Alto features a "devil version" of the star.

The film is based on the actor's collection of short stories inspired by his high school experiences which saw him arrested several times. It has been adapted for the big screen by debut director Gia Coppola and also stars Emma Roberts, Nat Wolff, Jack Kilmer and Zoe Levin.

Nat revealed to the Hollywood Reporter at a screening of the film at New York's Tribeca Film Festival: "I asked James, 'Who am I?' I think my character is James, and he said, 'Yeah I think so too, you're just a devil version of me,' which I thought was cool."

Emma praised the film for its realistic portrayal of teenage life. She revealed she had read James' book Palo Alto Stories on the day it came out.

"I really fell in love with it because it was different than anything I'd read - it portrayed teenagers in a way that was honest, instead of a silly teen novel," she said. "It really said something. Gia took the characters, combined a couple of them and really made these characters have more depth, and intersected their stories. I enjoyed them equally in different ways."

And everyone was full of praise for Gia's directing style.

Emma said: "She's a very calming presence on set, and not many people know that she's hilarious. She has a dirty sense of humour too! She's very quiet, and then she comes out with these dirty jokes!"

James revealed: "I really liked the family environment she created - she cast people and brought them all together, and a lot of them stayed at their mother's house, so the cast got very, very close. When I direct, I've never done anything like that, and I was really impressed by that."

And Gia, the granddaughter of award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola, said of James: "He's my teacher, and I've learned so much from him. He really set the tone so I could feel safe and be free in my art. He let me do my own thing, but at the same time, was very supportive when I needed him.

"He's made so many movies that it was nice having him on set, because whenever I got stuck, I would ask him for advice about blocking a scene and things like that."

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