Harmony Korine’s nihilistic Spring Breakers starring former Disney girls has a received a great deal of buzz that might actually translate to the box office when it opens this weekend. (It pulled in over $87,000 last weekend on just two screens.)
While the movie features Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and the director’s 26-year-old wife Rachel Korine doing crazy things in their bikinis, James Franco’s cornrowed character Alien arguably steals the show when he bails the girls out of jail.
Franco told GQ when asked about whether or not the rapper Riff Raff had inspired his character:
“I would say the biggest influence on the role was this local Florida rapper named [sic] Dangerous. He’s fairly unknown, but he was down there in the place, living the life, and he became the biggest model for me and he’s in the movie.”
Franco told MTV News that Korine had him meet Dangeruss the first day he came to St. Petersburg, Florida, where the film was shot.
“The same day I arrived, Harmony had me visit Danger at his apartment. I was surprised when we pulled into a rather nice sprawling housing development, country-club style, with fountains and manicured grass. I think there was even a driving range. When I met Danger, he was tall, thin as a stick, covered in tats and humble as hell. He was willing to help in any way. He told me about growing up in the bad part of town and having poetry as his only recourse when things got ugly. His involvement with the street and his involvement with hip-hop developed simultaneously. “While Peter Piper was picking peppers, I was selling yola at the corner store.” His lyrics are the highly autobiographical chronicle of surviving on the streets of St. Pete.”
Still, Riff Raff feels that the character is too inspired by him, and is reportedly suing the Spring Breakers filmmakers for $10 million. Riff Raff told XXL Mag that director Harmony Korine emailed him, asking him to be in the movie.
I was emailed by Harmony Korine and he wanted me in the movie and I couldn’t get ahold of him until later and I desperately wanted to work something out but unfortunately I couldn’t do anything to convince Harmony to make the big move of adding me to this film.
When asked why he was asking for so much money, Riff Raff had a logic to it: “Movie has grossed close to 40 million since the DVD dropped and we assume JAMES FRANCO got at least 20 mil so asking half of what he had should be fair. He can have my style, for 10 mil.”
And what he plans to do with the $10 million if he were to get it? “Buy some candy painted cars and a candy painted mansion with a Horchata machine in my living room, water slide from the top of roof to living room jacuzzi, electric maids to clean the house and call them Jetson & Judy.”
Here’s a clip of James Franco saying a line taken from Riff Raff, but it’s hard to imagine that the legal system would say all this warrants a $10 million suit:
Lawsuits aside, Alien was probably also inspired by Dangeruss (real name is Russ Curry,) who’s from the crime-ridden south side of St. Pete. According to complex.com Russ’s dad left early, and hismom had “vices, so to speak,” so he and his brother were raised by his grandmother, who died when he was 16 leaving him to provide for his siblings. “I became man of the house, you know. As far as taking over everything, paying bills, so on and so forth…I got caught up in the streets making good money, and music became secondary.”
Franco was kind of shocked by some of Dangeruss’ lyrics about drug-dealing because he couldn’t imagine junkies showing up at the rapper’s nice apartment, but he realized that the “streets” where still a part of Dangeruss’ life. Franco told MTV, “As I got to know Dangeruss, I realized there were two spheres in his life, and the other one away from the one I was seeing was much darker.”
The actor was so into hanging out with the rapper, who appears briefly in the film, that he asked if he could direct one of his music videos. Here’s the result after Franco flew Dangeruss and some of his friends out to L.A.:
Here’s another Dangeruss video for his song “My Fork:”
Follow Dangeruss on Twitter @Dangeruss727