James Franco talks professional distance from pal Seth Rogen: 'We don't have any plans to work together'

The actors are longtime collaborators, but in a new, in-depth interview about his life – scandals and all – Franco revealed a bit more about the distance between him and Rogen, which was sparked by the sexual misconduct allegations against Franco.

Franco stressed that he has nothing but love for his former co-star despite Rogen revealing earlier this year that their working relationship has likely come to an end for good.

“He was asked about me, and I just wanna say I absolutely love Seth Rogen. … I love Seth Rogen,” Franco told Sirius XM radio show host Jess Cagle. “I worked with him for 20 years. We didn’t have one fight for 20 years. Not one fight. He was my absolute closest work friend, collaborator. We just gelled.”

JAMES FRANCO BREAKS SILENCE ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS, ALCOHOL AND SEX ADDICTION

Franco then said what Rogen said “is true.” “We aren’t working together right now and we don’t have any plans to work together.”

Director and star James Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.  

Director and star James Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.   (REUTERS/Mike Blake )

“Of course, it was hurtful, in context, but I get it. He had to answer for me ’cause I was silent. He had to answer for me, and I don’t want that. So that’s why, that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today: I don’t want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore,” Franco added.

Speaking with The Sunday Times about his upcoming book “Yearbook” in May, Rogen was asked about his relationship with Franco after actress Charlyne Yi, who worked with both men on the 2017 film “The Disaster Artist,” called Rogen an enabler of “predator” Franco

“What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that,” Rogen said at the time.

SETH ROGEN SAYS HIS JAMES FRANCO PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP MAY BE DONE AMID MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

Although he stands with the accusers, Rogen had previously defended his “Freaks and Geeks,” “This is the End” and “Pineapple Express” co-star, saying in a 2018 interview that the allegations against his buddy wouldn’t prevent him from working with Franco again. Rogen even joked about Franco courting an underage girl during an appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” which he confessed he now regrets. 

“I do look back at a joke I made on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly,” he told the outlet. “And I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.” 

Seth Rogen said his professional relationship with James Franco is done.

Seth Rogen said his professional relationship with James Franco is done. (Barry King/Getty Images)

JAMES FRANCO ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY 5 WOMEN

When pressed, Rogen confirmed that the strain on their professional relationship has to do with the allegations against Franco. Although Rogen stopped short of saying that his personal relationship with Franco is over. 

“I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic,” he concluded. “Yeah. But not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation.”

Franco was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by five women in an article published by The Los Angeles Times in January 2018. Four of the women who came forward were students of Franco in his acting school, Playhouse West Studio 4. Franco started it in 2014 and it closed in 2017.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan, one of the women, alleged later on “Good Morning America” that Franco abused his celebrity power by “exploiting the non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities.” 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

Tither-Kaplan and another student Toni Gaal filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against Franco and the school in Oct. 2019. Their lawsuit said Franco pushed his students into performing in increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” that went far beyond those acceptable on Hollywood film sets.

Franco admitted he slept with students of his acting school.  

Franco admitted he slept with students of his acting school.   (Reuters)

It alleged that Franco “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education,” and that students were led to believe roles in Franco’s films would be available to those who went along.

In June 2021, Franco paid $ 2,235,000 to settle sexual misconduct lawsuit.

“I’ve just been doing a lot of work,” the “127 Hours” star told Cagle elsewhere in the interview. “I guess I’m pretty confident in saying like, four years, you know? I was in recovery before for substance abuse. There were some issues that I had to deal with that were also related to addiction. And so I’ve really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and changing who I was.”

Franco also spoke about his sex addiction and his realization he had a problem with alcohol which started at a young age. 

“[Sex] such a powerful drug,” he said. “I got hooked on it for 20 more years. The insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time. And I went to meetings all that time. I even tried to sponsor other people. So in my head, it was like, ‘Oh, I’m sober. I’m living a spiritual life.’ Where on the side, I’m acting out now in all these other ways, and I couldn’t see it.”

Seth Rogen discussed his friendship with James Franco in May.

Seth Rogen discussed his friendship with James Franco in May. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Franco said he’s been in recovery for sex addiction since 2016 but admitted to Cagle, “I did sleep with students.”

He later added of his past thinking, “At the time I was not clearheaded, as I’ve said. So I guess it just comes down to my criteria was like, ‘If this is consensual, like, I think it’s cool. We’re all adults so….’ “

It’s a change in tune since the last time Franco spoke out was to deny the allegations while making an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” in January 2018.

Fox News’ Jessica Napoli and Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

Comments are closed.