Theo James hit it pretty big after Divergent so if you’re quick to peg him as an indestructible action hero that’s pretty fair, but just wait until you see the more dramatic turn he takes in Franny. The movie stars Richard Gere as the title character, an insanely wealthy guy who doesn’t have a family of his own, but has basically become a second father to his best friends’ daughter Olivia (Dakota Fanning). Five years after their passing, Franny becomes obsessed with taking care of Olivia as if she were his own and that generosity extends to Olivia’s new husband, Luke (James), as well. Luke knows he shouldn’t accept the over-the-top gifts Franny keeps giving, but with a baby on the way, how can he turn down a house and a great career?
While in New York City for the Franny world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival I got the opportunity to sit down with James to talk about what drew him to the project and his experience making the film. He talked about first meeting Gere, shooting the scene during which their characters get high together, what it was like working with Fanning after watching her grow up on screen, how he relates to Luke’s predicament and more. You can hear all about Franny and get a brief update on the Allegiant movies in the video interview below:
- 00:06 – Did James try the Pinot Noir Steve recommended?
- 00:25 – What happens when you shoot a big movie like Divergent, but it hasn’t come out yet? Do you immediately start getting scripts anyway?
- 01:14 – Being drawn to Franny due to Gere and the script.
- 01:41 – What happened the first time James met Gere; Gere’s giving nature on set.
- 02:19 – Getting fake high with Gere.
- 02:40 – On working with Fanning; is it strange seeing her grow up on screen and then playing her husband?
- 03:35 – On Luke and Franny being opposites who collide and become buddies.
- 04:20 – Relating to the idea of being a person trying to assert his wisdom, but then being swayed by someone with more authority.
- 05:13 – Franny’s motivations; are they genuine or manipulative?
- 05:54 – Is it tough to build up the nerve to yell at Gere in a scene?
- 06:20 – Getting to shoot the film in order, for the most part.
- 06:46 – Making the move from Divergent to a smaller production like Franny.
- 07:35 – “Going back to normal” physically after shooting Divergent; the character preparation is similar though.
- 08:19 – His plan to shoot more independent movies in between the two Allegiant films.
- 09:03 – His hopes to play a real character in history or do a film that incorporates diving and the ocean.
- 09:36 – How the book-to-film changes in Insurgent will affect Allegiant; the next film is about genetic superiority.