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James Franco 'wasn't scared enough' to have a role in 'The Master'

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At an Austin Film Festival panel discussion on Friday afternoon, James Franco revealed how Paul Thomas Anderson courted him for the role of Freddie Quell, since brought to vivid life by Joaquin Phoenix, in The Master. The actor-director-hyphenate extraordinaire was in town to present Francophrenia, his experimental documentary about his time playing the smirking villain Franco on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.

Towards the end of the 75-minute conversation, an audience member asked Franco to discuss a specific movie role on his resume that had initially intimidated him. Franco couldn’t really think of one, which reminded him of a funny story.

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