James Franco: ‘Tristan & Isolde’ was ‘big mistake’

Wide Screen
April 20, 2012

Almost all actors have at least one gig they regret -- but the more famous they get, the less likely they are to admit it. However, James Franco is once again bucking the trend.

The 34-year-old actor wrote an article for Newsweek  this week in which he refers to his 2006 film "Tristan & Isolde" as a "big mistake."

So, what made this the "film set from hell"?

Franco revealed that he spent nine months training in sword fighting, only to arrive in Ireland to discover that the "Braveheart"-style battle scenes had been transformed into "stealthy murders."

Then there was the injury he sustained while shooting in Prague, which "felt like someone hit me on the side of my knee with a baseball bat." Franco said that after it was taped up, he continued to work only to discover by the end of the day that his knee had grown to "three times its normal size."

If that wasn't bad enough, he was taken to a local hospital "that looked like a subway station." Though the doctor claimed Franco needed an immediate operation to repair his ACL, the actor was smart enough to get second opinion (he later found out he actually needed an operation on his patella).

Franco also lamented being stuck in the Czech Republic for three more weeks so that he could have his knee drained every other day while filming wrapped up.

"Every morning, I'd go to this physical-therapy place and this woman would massage my leg, and I don't know why, but she'd be playing the soundtrack to 'Twin Peaks' over and over," Franco wrote.

And the problems apparently didn't end there. Franco said producer Ridley Scott "didn't help much" and that he "just didn't jibe" with director Kevin Reynolds, who reportedly wanted Tristian to be "more jovial" while Franco thought his character should be "tragic."

"The lesson was that I will never do a movie again that I don't have a special feeling for," Franco concluded. "I know now that you feel it somewhere in your gut when you believe in a movie, and that's why you should do it. Don't do a movie you wouldn't see or don't believe in, because movies can be hell to make."

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