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BERLIN – James Franco took time out of preparing for the Oscars – where he’ll be doing double duty as both host and best actor nominee for 127 Hours– to open the first European exhibition of his artwork in Berlin.
“I’ve been spending most weekends in L.A. shooting pre-taped stuff for the Oscars and this is the first weekend I wasn’t doing that,” Franco told The Hollywood Reporter at the Peres Projects gallery opening of The Dangerous Book Four Boys on Saturday night.
Franco first displayed his photographs, films and installation pieces at a New York show last year. He said the work – which includes a direct-to-camera video of him talking with a rubber penis on his nose and mocking the process of film making – allowed him to explore other aspects of acting not available to him in his Hollywood roles.
“If, in a commercial film, if I am acting that draws attention to the fact I am acting, you’d probably say that was bad acting,” Franco said. “But in this world, I can act in different ways, in ways that draw attention to the performance. I can act in silly ways, wear wacky costumes, I can present it on multiple screens, in different structures. In that way, I can address the audience on difference levels.”
The event was a packed but casual affair, with Franco mixing with gallery folk and curious Berlin locals while waiters bearing the trademark drooping black mustache of gallery owner Javier S. Peres served up fresh martinis.
Franco said he would be heading back to L.A. on Monday to continue with his Oscar preparation but was coy about what to expect from him as host on Oscar night.
“I can’t really tell you,” he said, grinning. “You’ll get a little bit of the old and a little bit of a fresh take on it.”
The Dangerous Book Four Boys runs in Berlin through April 23. James Franco and Anne Hathaway will host the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27.
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