James Franco revealed he was approached by director Paul Thomas Anderson for the role of Freddie Quell in 'The Master' but was not intimidated enough by the role which ultimately went to Joaquin Phoenix, who has since been tipped for an Oscar for his performance in the film.
According to Franco he 'wasn't scared enough' for the role of ex WW2 soldier Freddie Quell. speaking at the recent Austin film Festival Franco said 'Paul Thomas Anderson was getting ready to make The Master and he called me and we met When he started talking about the role, [Anderson] said, 'Do you feel like you can do this?' 'And I said 'Yeah, totally. Look, I think you're like the best American director. I feel confident. I know I can do this.' But this was clearly not the answer Anderson was looking for as he went on to say 'But I want this to scare you. I want this role, going on this journey, to scare you'. And I was like 'Scare?! I know I can do it' Franco recalled.
Franco believes it was his confidence that meant he was not picked for the role. He continued by saying 'I guess I wasn't scared enough or something, or whatever reason I didn't get it. And then when I saw Joaquin in that movie I realised, 'Oh, he wanted me to like lose my mind'. And so I guess that's just to say I usually don't get scared of roles.'
So James Franco was nearly Freddie Quell, it seems hard to imagine him in the role of the troubled war veteran. You reckon he'd have been up to the task?