James Franco on Reading ‘Howl’ Out Loud

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By Maryann Yin Comments

During an appearance at the 92Y, actor James Franco talked about making the Allen Ginsberg biopic, Howl. The actor confessed he read the poem “Howl” out loud, over and over: “I read it to myself in it’s entirety, I don’t know how many times … fortunately, it comes in a very small volume so I could walk around New York and just read that out loud, and I did that.”

Franco revealed that Howl actually began as a documentary project because Ginsberg’s estate asked the filmmakers, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, to make it in celebration of the poem’s 50th anniversary. Franco feels that Howl still retains “the soul of the documentary.”

Franco has made quite a splash in the literary world over the past year. In July 2010, Franco made a cameo in Gary Shteyngart’s book trailer for Super Sad True Love Story. In August 2010, Franco published his short story collection, Palo Alto.