Interview with James Franco Oz the Great and Powerful himself #DisneyOzEvent


Courtesy of Jeanne Eschenberg Sager and

James Franco is an enigma. Which makes him ultra cool. He’s super friendly with a great personality, but you can tell he has one of those great “thinking man” minds. He always seems to be thinking of a million things at once. In my opion that makes him the James Franco we all know and love. We had a small interview with him and the excerpts are below:

JAMES FRANCO: I wanna see pictures of everyone’s kids and get to know each other. We’ll get all the pictures and then we’ll be done.

Q : What was your most memorable moment in filming the movie?

JAMES : I mean, frankly, it wasn’t hard.It was all pretty enjoyable. It was a very long shoot. It was six months but, I was working with my old friend Sam Raimi and all the other actors and actress were great to work with, so it was mainly just long, but it, it was, you know, enjoyable all the way through, so, I don’t know. It’s, it was fine. I mean, yeah, there’s nothing I can think back and be like, oh, that was, that was so hard to do, yeah.

Q : What was your favorite part with the magic, and can you do it in real life now?
JAMES : I can. Well, I had to train. I trained with, a Vegas magician, Lance Burton and he showed me a lot of the secret tricks and I got pretty good at it. There’s a scene in the beginning of the film where we see Oz doing his act in the traveling circus.There were more tricks in the original act that I learned so I could make doves materialize out of nothing and pull rabbits out of hats. But it didn’t make the cut. It was fun to learn anyways.

Q : Were you a fan of the Wizard of Oz growing up?
JAMES : I was. When I was a boy, that was the, the days before Harry Potter was around and I read all of the L. Frank Baum Oz books on my own. They were some of the first books I read for pleasure outside of school. It was fourteen or fifteen that he wrote, and I just sped through them.  I remember there was a local book store called The Printer’s Ink in Paulo Alto.

It’s gone now, unfortunately. It was an independent book store and they had all the Oz books there, and I remember just like getting excited seeing all of them and, going through each one. So that was my Harry Potter, I guess.

Q : How was this role different for you compared to Spiderman?
JAMES : Well, so in the Spiderman films, I play Harry Osborne who is a supporting character. The thing I’ve learned about Sam Raimi is that he identifies with the characters in a lot of his films. And so when we did the Spiderman films, he identified it with Peter Parker.Even though he and I got along very, very well, and became very good friends I felt like I was not getting the full sunshine of his love because I was playing the character that was trying to kill his alter ego.

So now in this film, I’m the lead and, um, and again, I think Oz is a stand-in for certain sides of Sam, you know. Sam has a little- he has a nerdy side and a childlike side, but he also, he can be a little bit of a, a trickster, I guess. In addition to that, Oz in an entertainer. He deals in- he creates illusions to entertain people, and that’s exactly what Sam does.

So I’m finally the character, playing the character that he identifies with, so I get all of his love. So it’s great.

Q : Who’s your favorite witch to work with?
JAMES : That’s a hard question. Um, you’re gonna get me in trouble, but, they’re all the best. Some of the best actresses alive. We’re very fortunate to have all of them, and they’re all very different, but the roles are very different. So each one, was enjoyable but a very different experience, and I was glad to have all of them.

finley and chinagirl

Q : How was it working with Finley and China Girl?
JAMES : Right. Zach Braff plays the flying monkey, Finley, and Joey King plays the China Girl, the doll made out of porcelain. Those were some of my favorite scenes.  I thought they were, just great characters and great kind of oddball sidekicks to have in the land of Oz. And then I loved Joey and, and Zack. I would do anything with them.

They’re this, they’re, they’re great collaborators. The actual process of interacting with, CG characters is it’s own kind of thing. Filmmakers and actors are getting more and more use to it. So it’s not as if, I’m just acting to nothing the whole time. There’s a process you go through, and I think I got great training on, a movie I did called Planet of the Apes where I got to work with Andy Serkis, who you know, played Gollum, and then played Caesar in my film, and he’s kind of the master of this performance capture, um, kind of filmmaking.

So you go through a series of different kinds of takes. In the early takes, Zach would be there with me so I could interact with him, and then for the, the China Girl, there was a great puppeteer who could bring this puppet to life, and then I would hear Joey’s voice in my ear. And he would, too, and he’d make, the doll, react to her, to what she was saying.


Oz The Great and Powerful Opens in Theaters Everywhere March 8th! Want to keep up with all Oz updates? Check out the Oz The Great and Powerful website then Make sure your following Disney Oz Movie on Twitter and you “Like” the Oz the Great & Powerful Fan Page.

***Disclosure: I’m attending The #DisneyOzEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney. All opinions are 100% mine. ***


  1. 1
    diane says:

    I think it’s cool that a book he read as a child is one that he is acting in now. This is certainly a classic!
    diane recently posted…10 Essential Gardening Supplies for Home GardenersMy Profile

  2. 2
    pattie says:

    I love reading the behind the scenes interviews! James Franco is also one of my faves.
    pattie recently posted…The one thing you should do for your child this week | @ScholarShare529My Profile

  3. 3

    So cool he actually got to learn magic. I assumed it was all special effects these days!
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  4. 4
    Ashley S says:

    Great interview!! That’s cool that he read the books.

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