James Franco is learning to surf and hip hop dance, and directing sex scenes

James Franco is learning surfing and hip hop dancing in an effort to conquer his addictive personality

Actor James Franco talked to writer Edmund White for OUT magazine recently where, along with explaining how obsessed and depressed his addictive personality makes him, also admitted he is currently learning to surf and to hip hop dance. Two things Franco will also probably become obsessed with. Just like he has acting, directing and even school.

The 39-year-old actor/director, who got into acting after being arrested for petty theft as a teenager, told White how he throws himself into his work so much that it sometimes leaves him feeling depressed and alone.

“I have a very addictive personality. When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that’s when I started acting, at age 17. I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn’t even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, ‘Man, I’m so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good—I have a career and everything—but I feel isolated and lonely.’ So then I threw myself into school, but again it was just this sort of running, running, running.”

Franco went on to say he’s trying to get away from having such an addictive personality and that surfing and hip hop dancing are part of that goal.

“It’s a kind of therapy for me. I’ve started a new chapter of my life. I was very work-addicted, and addicted to other things—not substances, I got over that a long time ago—but I’ve recently changed my life, and this is part of my therapy.”

Much of the James Franco interview with Edmund White, however, is all about Franco’s new HBO series The Deuce and about the porn industry in New York from the 1960s up to today, as the 1970s New York sex industry is the subject matter of The Deuce.

Related: James Franco says he is gay in his art but straight in real life

During the two episodes of the HBO series Franco was the director, he directed sex scenes that he calls ‘interesting’, especially when it comes to his co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“I had to direct sex scenes in The Deuce and… whooo, it was interesting, I have to say. Maggie Gyllenhaal, in addition to being just an incredible actress, is fearless, and she really led the charge with how she handled the sex scenes and how she handled herself, and really set the template for everyone else. If I didn’t have someone like her I think it would have been really, really hard to engage in those scenes, but she just made it so easy. She’s fearless.”

Read the rest of James Franco’s conversation with writer Edmund White, who is brilliant on his own, at OUT magazine.

The Deuce airs on HBO starting on Sunday, September 10th at 9pm EST.

Did You Miss These?