James Franco: Selena Gomez was my 'secret weapon'

James Franco says Selena Gomez was his "secret weapon" when filming 'In Dubious Battle' as she "nailed" her performance despite being out of her comfort zone

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Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez

James Franco says Selena Gomez was his "secret weapon" when filming 'In Dubious Battle'.

The 24-year-old actress and singer stars as Lisa London in the drama movie based on the John Steinbeck novel of the same name, and the feature's director James - who also stars as Mac McLeod - has praised the star as an "incredibly talented" actress who "nailed" her performance despite being out of her comfort zone.

James said: "I think Selena is incredibly talented and I don't know what people think, but it seems to me she hasn't done tons of movies like this. She even said that to me when I asked her to do this, she was like, 'Yes, I want to be a part of your world, I want to try it. I'm going to go on this adventure.'

"I felt like I had a secret weapon, that I knew she was a great actress, that people wouldn't be expecting her in this and that I could put her in this and she would nail it. And she did."

The movie is set during a 1930s labour movement and sees Selena - who was previously known as for her performance in Disney Channel show 'Wizards of Waverley Place' - play a woman who is coached through her brutal birth by Mac and Jim Nolan, played by Nat Wolff.

Speaking about the scene, James told 'Entertainment Tonight': "She isn't a mother, right, but she did have those instincts. She is like that; she is maternal in a lot of ways."

"It's a scene from the book and I just thought, if we do this scene, I know Selena is just going to give everything for it. And we did.

"It was almost like a piece of performance art or something like that, we had multiple cameras, we were in there and we just like kept it going. We had a real nurse, we had a real baby, all this stuff and we just kind of did it."

'In Dubious Battle', which premiered at Venice Film Festival in September, will hit theatres on February 17.

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