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Gay Times April 13 - Issue 417


JAMES FRANCO

We travelled down yellow brick road to chat to James Franco about his new role in Disney's new Wizard of Oz prequel. Like many Hollywood actors, there's been much speculation about his sexuality. He's a mercurial sort of character and seems to enjoy being anything you want him to be...

Did you ever imagine yourself as the Wizard of Oz? We asked. "Not at all. I have a long relationship with the Oz books. I was really turned on to the Baum books when I was younger. I think he wrote 14 and after that passed them on and other people started writing them. It was a bit of a thing for two decades. I think it's in the fourth book where bits of our story have been taken. You do wonder how he got to Oz and this is a cinematic take on it! We worked in Detroit and Lance Burton (magician) came to train me so I had two weeks of magic training. He taught me a lot. I could materialise doves. I could start with a flame in my hand and make it turn into a dove. I thought all the scenes were going to feature magic tricks but it turned out that they were too long and it was cut.

What's your relationship with fantasy films and books? "The first movie I remember seeing in the theatres is The Dark Crystal by Jim Henson. I liked it so much my parents kept taking us back. The Oz books and the Tolkien books really sparked things off and created my imaginary senses."

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