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James Franco Studied Magic Under Lance Burton for 2 Months

The actor learned to pull rabbits from hats for ‘Oz’ role

By: Ashley Baylen
Published: February 7th, 2013 in Culture » Film » News
James Franco in 'Oz: The Great and Powerful'

James Franco can add yet another skill to his ever-growing list of talents: magician!

While preparing for his role in ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’, director Sam Raimi made Franco study magic with one of Vegas’ greats, Lance Burton.

After two months of training with Burton, Franco can now “materialize” doves and pull rabbits from top hats.

“Oz, my character, is a performer. In some ways he's an inventor, an artist,” he said.

“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.

“I learned to materialize 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.

“I have [the clips] on my iPhone. Maybe I'll put those on the internet in a few years.”

‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ hits theaters on March 8th.

Related articles: James Franco, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Wizard of Oz, Sam Raimi, Lance Burton, Magic, Magician, Las vegas
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