The star was shooting the low-budget film – about tragic American poet Hart Crane – last year (10), when he injured himself with a set piece while the cameras were still rolling.
But Franco, who directs and stars in the movie, was forced to conceal his pain because the production team only had one chance to capture the scene.
He says, “It was this part right before his suicide where he thinks he’s lost his talent and he’s destroying his typewriter and he’s supposed to throw it down a few times and then stomp on it. So I said, ‘Action,’ ran in, picked up the typewriter and threw it. Picked it up, threw it again. And by that time it was mangled, so when I threw it down the third time, it took part of my thumb with it.
“But I was the director, and I knew we only had one typewriter, (and we were filming) out in the middle of nowhere. And I knew I had to stomp it after that, so I… just kind of held my thumb. We finally got the shot and I said, ‘Cut.’ And it’s bleeding all over.”
Unfortunately for Franco, he was stationed too far from a major city with proper health care.
He adds, “The local production team took me to not a clinic, but, like, an ambulance garage. We went in and, for some reason, there was a TV on, playing a horror movie at full volume. So it was just screams. And I’m just trying not to pass out… And so the guy went in and woke the surgeon up… And then he (the surgeon) starts arguing with his assistant about which tool to use…
“My producer, at that point, said, ‘No, we’re going to find another place.’ So they put some gauze on my hand until we got back to Vera Cruz. I met a doctor that said he would just zap it with a laser for free. So I said, ‘That’s great thanks, thank you very much. It’s a low-budget movie.’ And he fixed it!”