James Franco met a rapper called Dangeruss for his 'Spring Breakers' role.

The 34-year-old actor plays 'gangsta' wordsmith Alien in Harmony Korine's latest film, which follows four college girls who get caught up with a gang during their short holiday, and he was intrigued after spending time with the real-life rapper to learn about his life.

He said: ''When [Harmony] went scouting locations in St. Petersburg, Florida, he found a lot of these guys who were into this local rap scene, and one of them was this white guy named Dangeruss, who I based my character on.

''As soon as I arrived, Harmony told me I had to see him, so I went over to his place to introduce myself and hear about his life.''

Franco was pleased his director set up the meeting as Dangeruss had so much he could draw on for his role.

He added to ShortList magazine: ''Now, he doesn't have semi-automatic weapons on his wall like Alien, but he does have a double life outside of rap.

''I could see that he came from growing up in hard circumstances, but there was a vulnerability to him, which is something he channels through his music. He was a great model for me.''