James Franco played James Dean in a biopic early in his career and won a Golden Globe award for it.
He shared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Thursday (15 December) how he stepped back into the late actor’s shoes again recently but under some very different circumstances.
Franco was working on a video with performance artist Paul McCarthy who was doing his own version of the Dean classic Rebel Without a Cause. Franco, of course, was cast in Dean’s role while McCarthy played Dean’s father.
Explains Franco: ‘There’s a scene in the original where the father has spilled some tea, is picking it up and James Dean says, “Get Up!’ because he thinks his father has been emasculated by the mother.
‘Well in this version Paul had kind of changed it … there he is picking stuff up and it’s not tea anymore – it’s Kentucky Fried Chicken.
‘And his pants are down at his ankles, his ass is out … I’m supposed to get on his back and like ride him and say like, “Ride the pig! Ride the pig!” and hit his ass with a chicken wing.’
Then this happened: ‘Eventually James dean tried to strangle his father and we got into all that and I was wrestling with this 65-year-old man with his pants down.’
Observed Colbert: ‘That’s not a remake of Rebel Without a Cause, that’s a while new film! Great viral marketing for the Colonel.’