By Fred Topel | Images property of Columbia Pictures
Now that all the Freaks and Geeks are super famous, they don't always get to see each other. James Franco finally reunited with Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow in the film Pineapple Express.
James Franco Smokes Pineapple Express
"There was one episode of Freaks and Geeks where his character and my character had a thing where he had a crush on a girl and he got advice from me," recalled Franco. "For me that was one of the cooler episodes. That kind of dynamic was great, getting to work together again is cool."
It was Apatow who actually got Franco back into comedy. "I hadn't done a comedy for a while. I had directed a very low budget movie called The Ape and it was playing at a festival in Austin. Judd was there and he came and saw it and it's kind of funny. After he saw it he said, 'I miss the funny Franco.' I read it and thought that it was very funny, but I said, 'Oh, Seth, you get to play the good role, or the role that I want, Saul.' They were like, 'Nah. You can play Saul.'"
Saul is the pot dealer, who remains in one signature outfit for the entire adventure. "We don't have any changes in the movie and so picking the right outfit was fairly important. So I wasn't a fan of the Guatemalan pants, but I was convinced that I should wear that. Then the t-shirt is a special creation by [director] David Gordon Green. It's a kitten sitting in a shark's mouth, but he's happy about it. Once I had that outfit on Saul just came along."
Franco's characterization took inspiration from a myriad of cinema's great stoners. "I watched a lot of pot movies before we did this. My favorite were always the characters in movies that weren't necessarily in stoner movies. So, Spicoli in Fast Times which isn't exactly a stoner movie or The Big Lebowski which I think is more than a stoner movie or Brad Pitt in True Romance. I don't know. Somehow they're like goofy stoner guys, but there's something more going on, I guess. So maybe that's the kind of inspiration that they gave me."
Pineapple Express opens to theaters on August 6th.