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Don’t Miss THE DEUCE Sunday Nights on HBO!

By Jef Dinsmore on Sep 9, 2017 to The Deuce

We can reiterate that enough – don’t miss THE DEUCE on HBO. Anyone linked to HBOGO via their cable subscription or subscribes to HBONow or has HBO OnDemand has surely already chosen to watch the Advanced Screening that dropped on 08.25. HBOWatch has and has a review in about it.

Now the series with its eight episode first season run settles into its Sunday night berth. It airs at 9:00pm ET time beginning September 10 and goes until October 29. If you haven’t heard or caught on the following simply sets the story. Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon and starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, THE DEUCE follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world at the pioneering moments of what would become the billion-dollar American sex industry. George Pelecanos, David Simon, James Franco and Nina K. Noble executive produce.

The show, of course, comes from an awesome pedigree with TREME & THE WIRE preceding it with the Simon/Pelecanos team. The cast, crew alongside us are excited about this show.

One of the actors, James Franco, takes on two roles as brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino. He also directs an episode. Here he shared some of his thoughts:

Q: What drew you to this project, as an actor and as a filmmaker?

 

JAMES FRANCO: I met David Simon over two years ago when I was doing “Of Mice and Men” on Broadway. I was a huge fan of David’s, so I asked him, “What do you have coming up?” He said, “I have this project about the old 42nd Street in the ‘70s. It’s about the rise of pornography.”

 

I kept that in the back of my mind. I thought it would be an interesting project because it does everything David is so good at. It can involve all of the intricate examinations of how we live and of the systems we live within, and it can be a critique of market capitalism. On the other hand, it has all the grit of porn and the street life of prostitutes and pimps.

 

What attracted me was the idea of long-form storytelling, and the fact that these new shows had fewer episodes. What you have is like a long movie, or a visual novel, and I was really excited by that. In film, there are a limited number of scenes for any given movie. I thought, “What if you could have a great part and have many scenes, and let the characters go through one not just mini-arc, but many permutations?” That sounded really attractive. I knew I would be playing twins, and I said to David, “I want to play those parts, but I’d really love to direct some of them too.”

 

Q: On a day where you’re directing yourself, playing two characters, what is that like?

 

JF: Everything is compartmentalized. To play twins, beforehand, I worked out with Michelle MacLaren, who directed the pilot, different looks for the brothers. Frankie’s the irresponsible one, he’s a gambler, he’s often in debt. We went with the idea that he’s still stuck in like the ‘50s and ‘60s, he’s more of a Brooklyn goomba kind of guy. Vincent has slightly longer hair. He’s the more responsible one; he’s the one that gets in with the mob, because they see how responsible he is and give him more projects to head. Their attitudes and personalities arise from those two general places. Fortunately, I only had to play one character at a time.

 

When I’m an actor, I’m mainly thinking about my character, how could I make this character work in this scene. As a director, I’m doing that, but then I’m thinking about all the characters – how all the characters are interacting, and what are their functions in the scene. It’s about managing where you put your focus at each moment, at each stage of the game.

 

Q: Which of the two brothers did you find more fun to play?

 

JF: By playing twins, I sort of got to do everything as an actor. Vincent is more the leading man character, he’s a character who’s emotionally grounded, somebody the audience can side with, and sympathize with, and understand. But I also got to play Frankie, and Frankie got to do all the crazy stuff. It’s like I got to play the Harvey Keitel role in “Mean Streets,” and the Robert De Niro role in “Mean Streets.” So I got everything.

Q: What do you hope for the audience to walk away with after seeing THE DEUCE?

 

JF: I think it’s a unique slice of a time and place. I think we’ve really done something amazing in capturing that. The audience will get to meet a lot of great characters and be drawn into this world. Then, for the people who want deeper readings, it has a systemic critique of market capitalism through pornography.

Titled after the local slang for New York’s fabled 42nd Street THE DEUCE gives you everything you want in a series. It gives you great plot that is enriched by the cultural and social commentary of the day. Characters with a story to tell filled with action, angst, passion and sleaze. You have pimps, prostitutes, pushers, police, and patrons of pubs & peepshows all nestled in the degraded ‘70’s scene. Plus it is layered with the styles and sounds of the day too.

So go ahead and allow yourself to be titillated by THE DEUCE. We promise you’ll be sated and satisfied! Here let Thunder Thighs tell you.

Again, that is THE DEUCE Sunday nights at 9:00pm ET on HBO.

 

As reported in the review, “Pilot” set us up with most of the characters as we learn all the players on the street, Vincent Martino getting misidentified as his brother Frankie and the Big Apple in decay. We leave with one more look as we go inside the premiere episode.

Again, that is THE DEUCE Sunday nights at 9:00pm ET on HBO.

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