Comfortable being alone
In an interview about “Tristan and Isolde,” James Franco commented about how acting relates to being someone who is more comfortable being alone.
Question: You talked about being a loner when you were at school. How hard is it going from being a loner to putting that aside an being an actor cause it seems that acting is not a profession for someone who likes to be alone I mean there is so much of yourself that you have to give.
James Franco: Yeah well I think there are a lot of examples of people like that. I think it was Duvall who said he wasn’t use to talking to a lot of people but you know became an actor anyway and De Niro seemed very much the same way.
For me it was…by acting and inhabiting a different part and pretending to be in a different world there is something about it that frees up whatever isn’t free in the real world. So it is not such a contradiction really.
Question: Is it why you became an actor?
James Franco: I guess so. When I first did it, it was kind of a relief it was a voice that I didn’t have before and then you know I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be an actor or a painter or a writer or something else…
[From darkhorizons.com interview by Paul Fischer, January 10 2006.]
A multitalented freak
In another interview, speaking of his role in the television series ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ Franco said it echoed his own high school experience. “I was a little freak, a little geek. High school was a big party the first couple of years, but that gets old, so I broke away and just was a loner. I did a lot of painting, and I was a member of a local art league.” [cyberteens.com interview]
Being a loner – or shy / introverted, ‘not good at small talk’ etc – is something many actors share, including Mischa Barton, Kristin Kreuk, Kim Basinger, Taye Diggs, Nicole Kidman, Sigourney Weaver and others. See the pages on Introversion / shyness.
For many people, this may be based on being highly sensitive, which can help fuel excellence as an actor or other artist.
Many actors and other artists are multipassionate creators – see my article
Multitalented Creative People.