James Franco and Scott Haze Talk CHILD OF GOD, Adapting Shocking Material, Balancing Art and Business, Staying in Character and More

     July 31, 2014

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If you’ve read Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, you’re well aware that it’s not particularly commercial stuff.  It focuses on Lester Ballard (Scott Haze).  Back when Lester was just a kid, his father committed suicide, leaving Lester to fend for himself.  Years later, when his family’s property is auctioned off, Lester takes to the woods, aimlessly roams around, shows off his precious rifle whenever he pleases, eats whatever he can get his hands on and makes everyone in the vicinity uneasy in the process.

It’s tough material to read, let alone watch, but that didn’t stop James Franco from giving making a film version a shot.  With Child of God heading towards a Friday, August 1st limited release, both Franco and Haze sat down to participate in a roundtable style interview.  The duo discussed adapting some of the more shocking scenes from the book while omitting others, Haze’s choice to stay in character as much as possible and more.  Catch the full video interview after the jump.

child-of-god-interviewJames Franco & Scott Haze:

  • 00:00 – On adapting the Cormac McCarthy book; turning Lester Ballard into an engaging and watchable character.
  • 04:05 – The lack of commercial appeal of the film; Franco’s decision to make the movies he wants to make regardless of financial or critical success.
  • 06:27 – Haze on playing a “human cockroach.”
  • 08:14 – The omission of a very controversial scene from the book.
  • 10:20 – When they realized the movie was turning out to be what they wanted.
  • 11:42 – Haze on the physicality of the role.
  • 12:40 – The one time Haze broke character on set.
  • 13:20 – The rock quarry scene they cut from the film; on whether or not to let Haze run through a river.
  • 15:11 – On shooting some of the most shocking scenes from the book.
  • 19:28 – Has McCarthy seen the movie?
  • 19:50 – What does the title mean to them?

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