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James Franco on His Decision to ‘Cut Back’ on Acting

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James Franco is ready to make a change.

The actor, 39, opened up to Evening Standard Magazine about his decision to take a step back from acting and lead a more relaxed life after suffering what he calls a “midlife crisis.”

“I guess it’s called a midlife crisis. I’ve certainly hit a wall this past year,” he said. “It’s not like I went out and had to buy a Ferrari or anything like that. It was more about re-prioritizing and figuring out what was meaningful. I’ve been known as a guy that just did a lot of things.”

Franco said he’s now using his time to figure out what he wants for his future.

“I already went through a lot of phases I think people go through in their midlife crisis,” he said. “So for me it was really about cutting back and focusing, and figuring out what I really wanted to spend my time on.”

The Pineapple Express actor’s latest project The Disaster Artist, which he wrote, directed and stars in, comes out later this year. He’s also currently starring in the HBO series The Deuce. Along with his work in film and TV, Franco also keeps busy as a poet, photographer and film professor at New York University.

RELATED: James Franco on Battling Depression, Addiction as a Teen and Why Maggie Gyllenhaal Is ‘Fearless’ With Sex Scenes

 

“Workaholicism is a huge thing, and one of the problems is that it’s really hard to see, because hard work is applauded in our culture,” he said of his habit of taking on multiple projects at once. “As it should be, but I think there’s also a line, a very thin line, that I crossed over where there were diminishing returns on the amount of work I was putting in.”

Franco admitted that the amount of projects he’s taken on has impacted the quality of work he puts out.

“It was just ‘busy work’ after a while, an escape rather than discipline that was adding up to better work,” he said.

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