Franco not Danny Boyle`s first choice for `127 Hours`

Last Updated: Oct 28, 2010, 13:58 PM IST

Los Angeles: Hollywood star James Franco, best known for his role in `Spider Man`, was not director Danny Boyle`s first choice for the role of mountaineer Aron Ralston in gritty survival drama `127 Hours`.

Franco failed to make a good first impression on the Oscar-winning director, who wrote the actor off as a "stoned city guy" after his audition.

The 32-year-old star plays real-life surviver Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after he became trapped under a boulder during a hike in Utah in 2003, E!Online reported.

But the `Slumdog Millionaire` director says he thought Franco was high on drugs when they met for the audition. "We saw a number of guys and he wasn`t the obvious choice because he`s not a look-a-like and he`s an urbanite really. He`s a city guy like me. He`s not a wilderness guy. I wasn`t sure at first. We met him and he was so relaxed – he looked stoned to me," Boyle said.

`Milk` star too admits that he won the role because of the memorisation skills he picked up during his stint on American soap opera `General Hospital`.

"I did have to read for it. (Boyle) had me fly out to LA He didn`t give me any material to prepare and when I got there he gave me a page-long speech. He asked if I could memorise and do it right away, which normally would have been difficult but I had just been working on a soap opera, General Hospital.

"I had to memorise like literally 70 pages a day so that little speech was no problem. I don`t think he knew at the time that General Hospital helped me get the role," Franco
said.

PTI