Top Stories

James Franco Opens Up About His Breakdown & Addiction to Work

James Franco Opens Up About His Breakdown & Addiction to Work

James Franco is on the cover of GQ Australia‘s September/October 2017 “Big Style” issue, out on Monday (August 28).

Here’s what the 39-year-old actor had to say…

On his breakdown last November: “I really had a moment of crisis. I hit a wall. It was a gradual thing. I hadn’t been in a relationship in a long time and was like, realising how much I was running from feelings and people. And how much of my identity was wrapped up in work. I knew who I was on a movie set. But take me away from that and it’s like, oh shit, I have to interact with people outside of the dynamics of a movie set? That’s really scary. But as soon as I took a step back and stopped working, it was like, holy shit. All the feelings flooded in and it was like this is what I was running from. This is what I was using work to hide from. This is why I had to occupy myself every minute of the day, 24 hours a day. Because I was running, running from emotions and being vulnerable and being around people. Being myself.”

On addiction to work: “I’ve never done heroin in my life, but I imagine if you get off heroin, people talk about facing reality, all these feelings coming back. Whether you know it or not, you want to bury them with the drug. Being a workaholic means you’re addicted to something. And what’s underneath addiction? It’s about hiding from fear, from pain, it’s doing something to make yourself feel better. That’s exactly what I was doing and I had to really adjust my relationship to work. It’s really hard. I’m sure, like anything you’re addicted to, letting that go is difficult because it’s a coping mechanism to make you feel good. It is so hard to wake up
to [addiction]. It’s so hard to see it. I thought I was living the life I always wanted to live. When I finally did wake up, I was completely isolated, emotionally, from everyone around me. The thing about work addiction is our culture supports it… We reward hard work and success. But it can really mask addictive, escapist behaviour.”

On perceived success: “I actually couldn’t enjoy my success. I was nominated for an Oscar, I was working with all my heroes. All the dreams I’d had as a young man had come true. And I still couldn’t enjoy it. It was never going to be enough.”

For more from James, visit

Just Jared on Facebook
GQ Australia Sept_Oct 2017 COVER_WEB
GQ Australia Sept_Oct 2017_James Franco   photography by Matthew Brookes_WEB
GQ Australia Sept_Oct 2017_James Franco   photography by Matthew Brookes_WEB2
GQ Australia Sept_Oct 2017_James Franco   photography by Matthew Brookes_WEB3

Photos: Matthew Brookes / GQ Australia
Posted to: James Franco, Magazine

JJ Links Around The Web

  • Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sadly passed away at age 65 - TMZ
  • Find out why Little Mix named their new album LM5 - Just Jared Jr
  • Nicole Kidman says being married to Tom Cruise prevented her from being sexually harassed - TooFab
  • What will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle name their baby? - Lainey Gossip
  • Daya has come out as bisexual - Just Jared Jr
  • Are Scott Disick and Sofia Richie having a baby? - Gossip Cop