David Letterman Reveals to James Franco Why He Banned Harmony Korine (Video)
Pushed by the "Spring Breakers" star, the "Late Show" host explains why his program banned the offbeat filmmaker a decade and a half ago.
Before Harmony Korine went (semi) legit with Spring Breakers, he was a young, trouble-making wunderkind best known for directing inaccessible avant garde films and giving bizarre, non-sequitur-filled interviews to a bemused David Letterman.
Between 1997-98, Korine appeared on Late Show air three times, always disheveled and slightly unhinged in a skater-stoner kind of way. It began with an interview to promote the controversial film Kids, which he wrote at age 18, and then in support of his directorial debut, Gummo, and finally, a book he wrote, A Crackup at the Race Riots.
Seriously, watch those.
Korine was due on Late Show for a fourth time soon after -- he even made it to the studio -- but was infamously banned under mysterious conditions. On Monday, his good friend and Spring Breakers star James Franco appeared on the show, where he proceeded to prod its host into explaining just why Korine had gotten the boot.
Letterman played coy, pretending not to remember the three interviews, but then asked Franco to tell him what he had heard about the mysterious incident. Franco responded that Korine told him he was banned for pushing Meryl Streep backstage, but "he said he was a little out of it...Harmony is a very sane guy now, a great artist and great person to work with, but I think he had a period where he was going a little off the rails, so maybe he was on something that night."
Letterman then spilled the beans.
"I went upstairs to greet Meryl Streep and welcome her to the show, and I knock on the door...and she was not in there. And I looked around, and she was not in there, and I found Harmony going through her purse," he said. "True story. And so I said, 'That's it, put her things back in her bag and then get out.'"
With Franco's assurances, the host then said he would be "more than happy" to have Korine back on the show.
Let's hope that happens, ASAP.