James Franco examines self in life and art in 'The Adderall Diaries'

Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:10pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - James Franco, actor, director, writer, teacher and the star of the new film, "The Adderall Diaries," thrives on the variety of his multiple pursuits and has no plans to narrow his focus.

"The Adderall Diaries," which is based on the 2009 true-crime memoir by author Stephen Elliott and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was the first book Franco optioned to make into a film.

But rather than getting behind the camera, he took it to writer/director Pamela Romanowsky. The two previously collaborated on "The Color of Time" about the life of poet C.K. Williams.

"The movie is about a guy struggling with who he is, with his art and how he represents himself in his art with his past," Franco said in an interview.

The 36-year-old actor was appearing on Broadway last year in a revival of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" when he shot the film in New York. He said the harried schedule added to his portrayal of the edgy, Adderall-abusing author he plays in the movie.

"The variety is what attracts me," Franco said about his work on stage, in films and in print. "I plan to keep doing all of those things. If I did any one of them exclusively then I would get a little tired of it or feel the constraints of that medium."

In the film Franco plays Elliott, a successful novelist struggling with writer's block, troubled relationships and a fondness for drugs. His career is on the skids after he is caught lying about his father and troubled past.

"The way we tell our story makes us who we are," Romanowsky said about the film. "Memory is very unreliable, malleable and changes a lot."   Continued...

Actor James Franco poses at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in this January 24, 2015, file photo.  REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/Files