James Franco and Pamela Romanowsky On What THE ADDERALL DIARIES Means To Them

James_Franco_Pamela_Romanowsky_On_What_THE_ADDERALL_DIARIES_Means_To_Them_stephen_elliott_filmcourage_moviesJames Franco and Pamela Romanowsky On What THE ADDERALL DIARIES Means To Them (Watch the video interview on Youtube here)


THE ADDERALL DIARIES is currently available exclusively on DirecTV; it will be released theatrically and available on all other digital and cable VOD platforms starting Friday, April 15, 2016



Film Courage: Pam, when you were taking The Adderall Diaries as the memoir and then adapting it into a screenplay, how much did you embellish the drug use and sex scenes or did you try to tone them down a bit?

Pamela Romanowsky: The drug use and the sex scenes are actually toned down quite a bit. I think that this was something that Stephen (Elliott-The writer of the memoir) was very interested in for the book and I was less interested in for the film because for me this film was about the relationships between these characters and how consequences in those relationships led to a realization in the main character, so his unusual sex life and his pretty moderate drug use are both parts of that and part of who he is. But to me, those are sort of just elements of a character. And I think that S&M is all over the media, all over cinema right now and so to me it wasn’t as shocking as it was in maybe 2008 when he was writing the book (and in 2009 when the book came out). So it seemed pretty easy to me to accept that it’s a part of this guy’s life and the Adderall use is a part of his life and we didn’t really need to talk about it that much, it’s just part of who he is.


Film Courage: James, I think you’ve said previously that Stephen writing the book was not just a memoir, he was trying to create a piece of art?

James Franco: (Recalling) O.k. I think I know what you’re getting at.

Film Courage: How much do you feel about this in your own work? Because there are a lot of similarities between the two of you. You’re both very passionate, you go against the grain, you’re both writers.

James: I think I was trying to define what the book was more, meaning it’s not just a straight memoir. This book is not just “Then I did this….then I did this…then I did this…” There’s a more complicated kind of structure or approach here where the way that he’s remembering things, it is focused on and he starts to question or highlight that process in his self and extend it to all of us in that we edit and tell our stories in a particular way, both to ourselves and to others. For me, the books that I’ve written are categorized as fiction. I certainly use some of my own experiences in those books, but they are very much fiction, so I think I’m doing something a little different.


Film Courage: Right. One of my favorite quotes is actually that, to step out of our own story and then once we do we see the world differently and the people around us differently. Did the two of you experience this in your own lives, having watched Stephen and his process and whether his story was totally true or not, did you have any of your own revelations about your lives?

Pam: Part of the appeal for me in telling this story was the opportunity to look at places in my own life where my narrative doesn’t match someone else’s. I think everybody tells the story of a break-up differently or a relationship with a parent and that’s fascinating. It’s not malicious, it’s not flawed, it’s part of who we are. We’re narrative machines and we need to make sense of who we are and we need to make sense of what’s happened to us.

Film Courage: James?

James: My story about myself goes up in conflict with sort of a public persona almost all the time. I am a public personality and often times I don’t think that what is projected out there is me. But I’ve come to accept that as somebody who sort of lives half of his life in public. I know that I can’t control that version of myself, that story that is being told by a big collective or through a lot of different outlets. It certainly contrasts with who I think I am. But I also have kind of reconciled myself with it, that it’s just part of my life.


THE ADDERALL DIARIES is currently available exclusively on DirecTV; it will be released theatrically and available on all other digital and cable VOD platforms starting Friday, April 15, 2016



The Adderall Diaries (2015). Written and Directed by Pamela Romanowsky. James Franco stars as Stephen Elliott, a memoir writer accused of fabricating his past by his own father (Ed Harris). In an effort to avoid his problems, Stephen immerses himself in the high profile case of accused murderer Hans Reiser (Christian Slater) while his relationships with his girlfriend (Amber Heard), best friend (Jim Parrack) and editor (Cynthia Nixon) fall apart around him.











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