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James Franco: 'I learnt to pull doves and rabbits out of hats'

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James Franco has revealed he learned magic from a Las Vegas magician for his role in Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful.

Franco told SFX that director Sam Raimi insisted he train with Lance Burton for two months, learning the tricks of the trade for his part as the wizard.

Sam Raimi's action adventure chronicles the origin story of the Wizard of Oz (James Franco).


"Oz, my character, is a performer. In some ways he's an inventor, an artist," the actor explained.

"What he does in this film is he goes to this land where people can do actual magic and he can't. But he learns that his earthbound magic or sleight of hand, his way of entertaining people is in its own way valuable and can be used to help people."

Franco said that he picked up the classic tricks pretty quickly, but that they weren't used in the end cut.


"I learned to materialise live doves and pull rabbits out of hats. I think I did pretty well. But as usual, when the director insists on intense preparation, whatever scenes you're preparing for so diligently are cut from the final movie."

Franco went on to tease: "I have [the clips] on my iPhone. Maybe I'll put those on the internet in a few years."

Oz the Great and Powerful is released in cinemas on March 8.

Oz the Great and Powerful - Photo gallery:

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