James Franco says The Interview saga 'caught people off guard'

James Franco

James Franco

Hollywood star James Franco conceded the controversy surrounding 'The Interview' caught people "off guard".

James Franco admits the controversy surrounding 'The Interview' caught people "off guard".

The 36-year-old star appears alongside Seth Rogen in the much-discussed comedy film - which initially saw its release pulled because of terrorist threats - and Franco admits the movie industry was unprepared for what unfolded.

He explained: "A lot of people were taken off guard by what happened. Even the industry press had some very strange reactions to it."

According to Franco, the film - which features North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, played by Randall Park - raises questions about how best to protect "artistic freedom".

However, the actor has thanked US President Barack Obama for supporting the release of the film, even though he mistakenly called him "James Flacco" during a recent news conference.

Franco told The Hollywood Reporter: "It's still up in the air about how this should be dealt with and how we deal with it in a responsible way, in a way that protects artistic freedom.

"Everybody agrees that that is something we all value, and we should protect, but how we do that is what's in question, how we do that best. But I'm glad the president has James Flacco's back."

The Interview

  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 112 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
  • Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Timothy Simons, Charles Rahi Chun

When a talk-show host (Franco) arranges an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Park), he and sceptical producer Aaron (Rogen) are enlisted into a CIA assassination plan. With nothing to say about international politics, the seductiveness of power or the shallowness of the media, this silly film doesn't…


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