Video: James Franco Talks ‘Palo Alto’ and River Phoenix

Posted by Tiffany Vazquez on 6.4.2014

James Franco recently stopped by the Film Society of Lincoln Center for a Q&A following a screening of Palo Alto, the debut feature by Gia Coppola based on his book of short stories. The movie also stars Franco, along with Emma Roberts, Nat Wolff, and Jack Kilmer (son of Val, who also makes an appearance).

April (Roberts) deals with her parents' neglect by entertaining advances from her soccer coach (Franco). Meanwhile, troubled teen Teddy (Jack Kilmer) can't bring himself to confess his feelings for April, and constantly gets into trouble with erratic best friend Fred (Wolff).  Each teen deals with coming-of-age in Palo Alto the best way they know how—which isn't always best. The film, which screened at the Venice, Telluride, Toronto International, and Tribeca Film Festivals, gained attention with its show of promise from first-time director Coppola (granddaughter of Francis Ford).

Franco discussed the inspiration for his book, based on stories from his own upbringing in the affluent title city in Northern California. He also talked about the process of collaborating with Coppola to adapt the book into a film. Of course, this wouldn't be a James Franco interview if it didn't touch upon any of his other ambitious projects. But you'll have to watch for yourself to hear about those...

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