'127 Hours' premiere: Don't faint! It's just a James Franco movie [video]
Before the premiere of his new film "127 Hours," director Danny Boyle got on stage to offer a warning to audience members: "If you don't like James Franco, you should just leave now."
Indeed, the actor is front and center in the Oscar-winning filmmaker's latest movie, playing hiker Aron Ralston, who infamously fell into a Utah canyon in 2003 and was trapped under a boulder for five days until he decided to amputate his right forearm so he could escape. At times, the film is so graphic that a number of moviegoers have passed out or vomited during early screenings. (In fact, one woman had a seizure at the Beverly Hills premiere Wednesday evening, though Boyle later said the woman had a medical condition and that the incident was not related to the film.)
But the pressure of carrying the film didn't get to Franco, the actor said.
"Even though there's no other actors, I believe that movies are such collaborative experiences," Franco said on the red carpet. "Regardless of the lack of other actors in the scenes, I was still collaborating with the whole team, Danny and the cinematographers, so it actually didn't feel like I was alone."
Boyle said he and his star became close throughout production of the film, and that Franco ended up teaching him a lot about the art of acting.
"Pure cinema acting," Boyle explained. "Like, I work with a lot of British actors and it's more theatrical. But this is like pure cinema; he kind of surfs into a scene. It's very relaxed. Very intimate with cameras. No barriers. It's very easy. Even if the scene is very intense, the origin is ease. And it relaxes an audience and makes them trust him. It's amazing, actually. I've only seen it once before, Leonardo DiCaprio's got that ability as well."
Also spotted on the red carpet in Beverly Hills: costars Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn; actors Minnie Driver, Juliette Lewis and Kellan Lutz; plus climber Aron Ralston and his wife, Jessica. Click the picture of Tamblyn, Ralston and Franco above to launch a gallery of pictures from the premiere.
After screening first at the Sundance International Film Festival and doing the rounds since then, "127 Hours" opens Friday in U.S. theaters.
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Amber Tamblyn, left, mountain climber-author Aron Ralston and James Franco at the after-party for the premiere of "127 Hours" at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills on Nov. 3, 2010. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Related dispatches from or approved by the Ministry of Gossip: