“127 Hours” goes to mainstream release in cinemas nationwide this Friday (11/5), so I expect the media engine to crank into high gear this week. This weekend, I came across two extensive new interviews with the central players, one on the fan carpet, featuring a panel interview with director Danny Boyle, lead James Franco, and screen writer Simon Beaufoy, and another on Collider.com, where interviewer Sheila Roberts speaks one-on-one with Beaufoy. If you are into film and canyoneering, both these articles are worth a read and will whet your whistle for the film opening this week.
In particular, I enjoyed this response from Franco, describing how he and Boyle approached bringing reality into the film. I’m wondering how they actually affixed his arm in place, so he could authentically struggle to free it?
(James Franco) Well, I didn’t cut my own arm off. However, Danny does like to push the boundaries a bit. In an early scene Aron has just been trapped by the boulder, he’s a great athlete so tried to pull his arm out with his physical strength. The film was shot everything in order, apart from the scenes with the girls, we had to do that to the end because of snow.. anyway this was a very early scene and I don’t think Danny planned to film it this way either, but he said to me on the day “so try and pull your arm out, do anything that you can, bash yourself against the rock, knee it, kick it, yank, pull, do anything you can and don’t stop until I say cut”. I said “Er, ok I’ll probably be pretty bruised, and exhausted, i’ll probably get hurt a little bit” and I know this is exactly what was said because a friend of mine was filming behind the scenes. I said “Alright, I’m up for it, just make sure you get it on the first take”. So we did it and I think it had been 22 minutes by the time he said cut, I was completely exhausted and the next day my arm was literally purple, but we figured it out and as an actor it was incredibly liberating, I had the freedom to really experience that and if I had my arm stuck that’s what it would have been like, I’m not acting, it’s real. It was a very different process than a typical film where you can set up then relight then setup again, here you could do all that during the take and it just gave the performance more authenticity because I was experiencing it to a certain extent.