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Regret and mystery are two things that Hollywood are full of, and a lot of times you'll find the two factors intertwined like lovers in a passionate embrace. James Franco knows this, because he's taken both and woven them into a bit of a puzzle relating to some films he doesn't exactly see eye to eye with.
While promoting his role in the limited series 11/22/63, James Franco chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about how he fell in love with the time travel thriller, as well as if he'd use the legendary plot device to change anything about his own life. It was with that challenge that he laid down the following vague statement about his earlier film career:
When I was younger, I did a series of movies that I really didn’t like. I worked really hard on them, but they weren’t movies that I cared about. And after they came out, I just felt so awful. So I could say, oh, I would go back and not do those movies, but in fact by doing those movies, I realized, oh, never make decisions based on career or what other people tell you anymore. Only do projects that you care about, that you believe in, and that idea really just came out of having a bad experience on those movies.
Now there's two very different interpretations that this statement can take on, and it all comes down to one word. That word, of course, is "series," as James Franco can either be referring to a franchise of films that he's been part of in the past, or merely a string of films that he would rather forget. The latter statement would make sense, as a quick glance at his IMDB page shows Franco starring in such forgettable fare as Whatever It Takes, Deuces Wild, and City By The Sea. All films were in the early phase of his career, and all hid in the darkness of Franco's resume, as they came before his breakout role in the Spider-Man franchise had shone a great, big spotlight on his works.
Though come to think of it, the possibility that James Franco wasn't exactly in love with the Spider-Man franchise isn't all that impossible, especially when you look at the man's career in the years after his final appearance as Harry Osborn. After 2007's Spider-Man 3, Franco's resume is more filled with indie films like True Story and experimental projects similar to Spring Breakers. Of course, Franco hasn't stayed away from the huge films completely, as he's dipped his toes into franchise friendly work like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Oz: The Great and Powerful. It wouldn't come as a surprise to hear him taking out some long diverted rage against the Sam Raimi trilogy, or at the very least the final installment of said grouping of films, but the evidence is too inconclusive to draw any logical parallels.
With either scenario ranking in with equal probability, James Franco realizes that everything that's happened in his career has lead him to the point he's at now. So surely, how bad could things really be; or more importantly, how much worse could they have been if he never made the mistakes he'll keep secret for the time being. We'll never truly know until Franco reveals those secrets on his own time, but in the meantime you can see him try to save JFK's live in 11/22/63, which premieres on Hulu this President's Day.