In Spring Breakers, James Franco makes you believe he is a marble-mouthed sleazoid-mystic who sprang fully formed from a pile of crumpled dollar bills and expired Oxycontin in the corner of a strip-club bathroom. And we mean that as a compliment. Franco, 35, so inhabited his role as the drug-dealing, conspicuously consuming Alien that even while filming, he says, people didn't realize it was him. "I had the cornrows in and although the tattoos weren't real, I'd keep them on so we wouldn't have to redo them the next day," he says. "I'd go back to the hotel and I'd forget [about them], thinking, 'I'm just regular old James.' I'd walk down the hall and get really weird reactions, double takes and people moving to avoid me."
Even more impressive is the fact that the insanely memorable (and memorably insane) performance hit screens only a week after Franco headlined Oz the Great and Powerful. "It was pretty cool," he says. "Oz was the number one movie in theaters, and Spring Breakers was the number one limited-release movie. Whatever cognitive friction was created by having the Disney girls in Spring Breakers was added to by me also being in a big Disney movie around the same time."