In “Leaves of Grass,” Edward Norton plays twin brothers : Bill, an Ivy League professor, and Brady, who the actor described to MTV News as “a hydroponic weed grower and horticultural genius who’s figured out how to grow the most turbo-charged weed in America.”
When Bill goes to visit Brady in Oklahoma, it’s not long before the academic is dipping into his bro’s heady stash. While preparing for the role, Norton considered whether he should approach the dual roles from a truly method-acting perspective.
“I wondered, ‘Would being stoned look way better on the film than acting stoned?’ ” he said recently at the Toronto International Film Festival.
He eventually realized that the demands of moviemaking made the prospect of toking up unrealistic. “The truth of the matter is, making movies is so … especially doing something like twins … you’ve got to be able to focus. I don’t think I could function the way I need to function.”
At one point during the interview, however, he did say with a sly grin, “We’re in Canada and the hydroponic stuff up here is just thorough!”
Though he was never baked on set, the Oscar-nominated actor did bring some of his past weed-blazing experiences to his characters, in particular a run-in with some friends carting around a medical-grade stash. “I do remember having this sensation that I was being picked up by my ears,” he recalled. “There’s a bit in the film that I like a lot, when the professor brother takes the first hit of his brother’s turbo-charged special product, there’s a thing where his jaw is going to open up wider than his head. I laugh when I watch it. I think that’s pretty spot-on.”
What doesn’t make Norton crack a smile is marijuana prohibition — he’s a big proponent of legalization, which he called, “just rational.”
“Our culture exists with these ridiculous hypocrisies of legalizing one form of controlled substance versus another,” he continued. “The economic arguments, the arguments in terms of both enforcement and safety [and] rehabilitation, it’s something we’ve got to get around to a more rational place on.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Leaves of Grass.”
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