Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
BEST ACTOR ‑ MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL, OR COMEDY
James Franco ‑ “The Disaster Artist”
JAMES FRANCO: First person I have to thank is the man himself, Tommy Wiseau. Come on up here, Tommy. Nineteen years ago ‑‑
(Tommy Wiseau tries to take the mic.)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Nineteen years ago he was stuck in traffic from the Golden Globes. He said to his best friend Greg, “Golden Globes? So what? I’m not invited. I know they don’t want me, guy with accent, long hair. So I show them. I don’t wait for Hollywood. I make my own movie.” I’m very happy to share this moment with him today. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press for all your support over the years. Also Steve, Daniel, Hugh, Ansel, you’re all my brothers. You know that. Thank you. This was billed as a movie about the best ‑‑ making the best worst movie ever made, but, in fact, it’s a story of friendship. This year I’ve learned from all my friends and collaborators, my longest friend in entertainment, Seth Rogen. Known him since “Freaks and Geeks.” Kevin Goldberg , James Weaver , Vince Jolivette, thank you so much. Alex McAtee. You all taught me to be a better director, a more responsible person, thank you. A24 , you had me since Spring Break. New Line, Good Universe, thank you for all your love. Finally, my brother. When I went to NYU, I always said I wanted my own Coen brother, someone to collaborate with. I realized this year I had my own Franco brother. I love him more than anything. Thanks to my mother for giving him to me.
Q Can you tell me a little bit about the acceptance speech, how you got on stage? Was it a little crazy how you saw it from back here? Was that all planned? Did you jump up on stage? How did that go?
JAMES FRANCO: That wasn’t really planned. A lot of people have been asking me if he was going to come. I knew that he had high hopes. When he made that movie “The Room,” he kept it in theaters for two weeks on his own dime to qualify for the Academy Awards. I knew, you know, he had really high hopes for his movie. So here we are, you know, 15 years later, and I just thought it would be a nice moment to have him up there.
DAVE FRANCO: And I’ll just say that while they were announcing the nominees, my brother whispered to me that if he won, I was going to go on stage with him. And I said, “No, I’m not.” He said, “Yes, you are.” And he dragged me up there, and that’s what happened.
JAMES FRANCO: You know, in our movie, the, kind of, final moment is when Tommy goes up, and everyone is cheering at the end of the film and says, “I couldn’t have done this without Greg.” And I really couldn’t have done this without my brother. So that’s why I brought him up.
Q How is it working together, for you too? How is it working together, you guys?
JAMES FRANCO: It’s the best. You can talk about that.
DAVE FRANCO: Yeah. It took us a while to finally work together. That was mainly my fault. You know, I was trying to pave my own path and stand on my own two feet, and after a while, it just felt like the right time and the right project. We had such a great time that we have since started a production company together, and we are trying to do everything together now.
Q I have a lot of memories from the first time I saw “The Room.” It’s super good. When was the first time you saw “The Room”? I’m curious.
JAMES FRANCO: We were both latecomers to “The Room.” All we knew was that billboard that Seth Rogen described. I became aware of the whole thing when I read the book four years ago. Before I was halfway through, I immediately went out and saw “The Room.” The story in the book was so compelling, the story of dreamers and friendship. And in seeing “The Room” and having that theatrical scene throwing spoons and yelling at the screen, I was completely sold. I knew, if we did it right, we have a movie unlike any other because Tommy Wiseau is unlike anyone that ever lived. But, underneath, we would have a very relatable, universal story.
Q Oprah’s speech was certainly one of the big highlights of the night. It swept online. Everybody is talking about it. I’m wondering, in the room — for both of you guys, what was it like in there in the room? What were your thoughts on what she said?
JAMES FRANCO: It was a very powerful night. We just passed Frances McDormand at the photos, and she said, “Wow, what a night to be in that room.” It does feel like a very historic night. Oprah captured it incredibly well. Yeah, it was powerful.
Q I know that, in the times of pen — I wanted to ask why you chose to stand in solidarity tonight and what you think all men in Hollywood can do to be better from now on.
JAMES FRANCO: I guess I believe, you know — and, also, I was asked this question a lot too when I did the film “Milk.” And I once said, “Whenever any group” — and this is around the time of Prop 8 too when I did “Milk” — “Anytime any group is treated differently or, you know, given less rights or less quality than any other, it’s everyone’s responsibility to stand up and make change.” So that’s why I’m wearing black.
Q I’m curious because you obviously act, you direct, you write, you do poetry, you paint. It’s a wonderful artistic balance. Do you have specific preferences?
JAMES FRANCO: I am slowing down a little bit. I’m sort of sticking just — this is a big year of change for me. I’m just sticking to directing and acting. I directed and acted in this film, and I direct and act on the HBO show “The Deuce” that I do. But I love interests, and I really — you know, it was really just about — I had this attitude that I only have one life, and I might as well just try all the things I wanted. I guess I tried them all, and I found that was satisfying for a while, and now I get much better results if I just focus on fewer things that mean more to me.
Q So it’s, like, false saying you are doing less things. You are very popular in different countries, in Latin America. I was really — this one is extremely funny, and it’s very — it’s been very promising. What are some things? Is it because one is funnier than the other? Is it just because the aspect of the room is so, like, crazy? What do you think is things you got right?
JAMES FRANCO: One of the things that helped me change both as a director, as you are asking, but also just as a person this year were working with very strong producers, producers that were smarter than I, that had more experience than I did. And so, on “The Deuce,” I had David Simon, George Pelecanos, and Nina Noble. I directed two of the eight episodes, and having to work for them and work with such incredible material but also to, sort of, answer to them really taught me a lot about just how to be — basically be focused, and the same thing on “The Disaster Artist.” I asked my old friend, Seth Rogen, pointblank to produce it. They were just playing with — they just knew how to do it a little better than I did. I knew that the story had so much potential. It had enough weirdness to appeal to my sensibility, but I knew, if I got them on board, that they would give it the best chance to kind of get to a bigger audience, and they really helped me there.