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For James Franco, Thursday night’s premiere of The Deuce—his new HBO drama, which focuses on the porn industry in 1970s New York—marked a milestone. Though Franco has over 100 film and television acting credits to his name, he has never before played two roles—identical twin brothers—in the same project. Franco also directs himself in two episodes of the series, which debuts on September 10, and serves as an executive producer as well.

“This was a dream job. I got to work with the best writers and had a lot of fun playing not only one great role, but two great roles,” Franco told Vanity Fair at the show’s premiere, held at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York. “Like anything, playing two roles was a fine line to walk down. We decided we wouldn’t do anything obvious to differentiate them on the surface. So you could only tell them apart by their behavior and their attitudes. As an actor, I learned to really lean on the people around me, the wardrobe department, and especially the writing to differentiate the characters. It was fun, and it’s one of the more meaningful things I’ve done. The principles of the show, like misogyny, are timely and really poignant today.”

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Labels: The Deuce
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