The wonderful wizard of Oz is great and powerful indeed — but he’s also narcissistic, manipulative and, dare we say it, a bit dreamy.
It’s not just our opinion that James Franco’s titular character in “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a hit with the ladies. It’s a fact; just watch as the con artist waltzes his way through the Land of Oz charming witch after witch after witch, played by beautiful and talented actresses Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. But even if Oz has a way with women, that doesn’t mean he isn’t without some goofier tendencies as well.
“He’s a bit of a goofball, but also kind of a ladies man,” Franco told MTV News about the role he plays in director Sam Raimi’s latest adventure film. “One of the things some people were saying as we were making [the movie] is that he’s sort of a combination of a Clark Gable type and a Charlie Chaplin type. It was because of that that it was incredibly fun to play.”
For Franco, there were more layers to explore to Oz than just his surface-level charm and conniving ways. “[Raimi] not only wanted to have the character go through a physical and geographical journey through a fantastical land; he wanted the character to have an emotional journey,” said the actor. “That journey is one of going from a selfish, self-involved person to maybe a larger, more generous and good kind of person.”
Another reason why Franco had so much fun working on “Oz”: the references to the 1939 classic, all conveyed through modern technology and innovative 3-D. “I thought it was a great approach,” he said. “There were callbacks to people’s ideas of ’Oz.’ They respect certain things about ’Oz.’ But they could also use current technology to make a more spectacular version of the Land of Oz.”
“Oz the Great and Powerful” opens in theaters on March 8.
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