James Franco explains 'Freaks and Geeks' reunion absence, sold out for getting too method with Busy Philipps

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Eleven years to the day after production wrapped on the beloved one-season series "Freaks and Geeks," the bulk of the cast reunited on stage at PaleyFest 2011 in Los Angeles.

Executive producer Judd Apatow and creator Paul Feig sat down with cast members including Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, Jason Segel and Busy Philipps.

The only notable absence among the core cast was James Franco, who, in typical Franco fashion, shared his excuse in a self-made video message.

"Sorry I can't be there tonight. 'Freaks and Geeks' was such a cool show," he said, smiling down at the audience, holding up an iPad next to his face with an illuminated photo of Anne Hathaway.

"Unfortunately, I'm busy rehearsing with Anne," said Franco. "We are going to host the Emmys, the NAACP and the ESPYS. Anything else you'd like to add Anne?"

He paused, put the iPad in front of his face, raised his voice a few octaves and replied, "'Love and Other Drugs' is now out on DVD."

How can you be mad at a guy like that? No hard feelings -- except when talk turned to the harmony on the show's set. Co-star Busy Philipps was quick to note that Franco's method acting got her thrown to the ground filming episode 9, "We've Got Spirit."

Unbeknown to Philipps and episode director Danny Leiner, Franco had been told that his character, Daniel, had been abused by his father and had intimacy issues -- issues that probably would have had him react unpleasantly to being smacked by his girlfriend.

"It was when we get hit by water balloons, we're running after the car and Danny had directed me to turn around and give him a smack on the arm and say 'Dammit, Daniel, do something' -- which is the line I'll never forget, because it got me thrown to the ground."

"So I turn around and I say, 'Dammit, Daniel, do something,' and he goes, 'Don't you f***ing ever touch me.' Then he grabbed my arms threw me to the ground. I fell back, and everybody rushed over."

Philipps was fine and laughing about the incident, but it wasn't until a conversation between her and Franco five years ago that she had any idea why he freaked out on her.

Maybe if he wasn't busy tweeting pictures of taco wrappers in New York, he could have explained himself to everyone.
Photo/Video credit: DreamWorks