James Franco's thug-life "Spring Breakers" character, Alien, wasn't born out of thin air. In fact, he spent a lot of time with a real-life persona, Dangeruss, while making the Harmony Korine-directed film. Their friendship led to the music video for "Dope Boyz," which MTV News is exclusively premiering, along with an essay from director Franco and candid photos of Dangeruss. Franco didn't go about this project alone; he worked with film editors Andinh Ha and Pau Dalmases on the music video. These are his words about the experience.
"I met Dangeruss through Harmony. Before I went down to St. Pete to play Alien in "Spring Breakers," Harmony sent me innumerable videos and photos as references for my character. He drowned me in them. Harmony is a master of online research. Once he chooses a location to shoot, it turns out he is also a master at finding the most interesting and odd local places and characters. One of the last videos Harmony sent me was of a white guy in dreads, sitting in his car, rapping about Dope Boyz. This turned out to be Dangeruss, a local rapper who Harm had met at an audition and knew immediately that he was the real deal. He thought I should use Dangeruss as a main source of inspiration for my Florida gangster/mystic, Alien."
Read the rest and see exclusive photos at MTV.