Homefront allowed James Franco to go a little nuts as the villain, a meth lord who makes life hell for Jason Statham. As previewed in the Homefront trailer, Statham is a former DEA agent who moves to a small Southern town with his young daughter to pursue a quieter life. Little did he know that the community would be a hotbed for meth dealing, with Franco’s evil villain at the top of the food chain. Franco could have been one of those actors who does his own stunts, but given what a pro Statham is, Franco decided to leave it to the professionals.
“Jason does all of his own stunts. I don’t. My guy gets really beaten up,” Franco told Movie Fanatic. “There was a stunt guy that was just happy to do that. I’ve done a lot of movies with fight scenes, and you know when you’re working with somebody that’s good. Fight scenes are really more like dances than they are fights, because you’re depending on your partner to do the right move at the right time.”
Franco did do a few of his own fight scenes — he’s just being modest! “A fight scene has a lot to do with the other person,” Franco admitted. “We had one fight scene in the movie. It was like, ‘Yeah. Okay. This is great. Actually I’m not scared here. I feel great here because Jason knows what he’s doing. I’m not going to get hurt.’ Whereas, somebody that hasn’t done a lot of fight scenes is not tough and will probably hit my hand with the sword or punch me in the face by accident.”
Franco also welcomed the chance to play a villain, but he insisted it be more than a one-dimensional character that so many villains can be. And it so is, as we report in our Homefront review.
“I think it helps serve the movie if he’s not just a bad guy that’s there as a device, that he is somebody that does bad things, and you don’t condone his actions, but you can understand why he’s doing it. What that meant to me was that maybe he shouldn’t do the meth, that this is a business. He sees it as a business,” Franco said.
“When he goes after Jason’s character, maybe he has a little fun with the torture of it, but it’s more that he sees this guy as just a key to helping his business, to helping him achieve his dream of getting out of this town and just making something of himself, which is something that we all do.”
The actor admitted that there is something in his portrayal of Gator in Homefront that is universal, whether we want to admit it or not. “Whatever our business is, we want to succeed. We want to achieve. And so, we can all understand that side of it where he crosses the line that hopefully none of us crosses. ‘Well, okay, I’ll hurt somebody else in order to achieve my dream.’ We don’t go with him there, but it’s like you can understand the human motivation behind what he’s doing,” Franco said.
“That’s why I thought the meth is just his way. It’s just what he found. It’s the way that he thinks he can get out of this wicked little town.”