James Franco wasn't director Danny Boyle's first choice to play an adventurer in 127 HOURS - he wrote the actor off as a "stoned city guy" after his audition.
In the new thriller, Franco plays real-life survival hero Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after he became trapped under a boulder during a hike in Utah in 2003.
But Boyle insists the Milk star didn't make the best first impression - he was convinced the actor was high on drugs when they met.
He tells EOnline.com, "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."
And Franco is convinced he only won the role because of the memorisation skills he picked up during his stint on American soap opera General Hospital.
He recalls, "I did have to read for it. (Boyle) had me fly out to L.A. 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."