What James Franco Ate for a Year to Prepare for His Sex Scenes

Between his new movie The Disaster Artist and his new HBO series The Deuce, James Franco has found himself filming a surplus of sex scenes.

In order to stay fit and slim for said roles, Franco says he changed his diet in a major way. At the premiere for The Deuce, which is set in the gritty, dirty streets of New York City in the 1970s, Franco told Entertainment Tonight that salads played a major role in his diet.

"I ate a lot of salads. Like, a year and a half of salads for lunch and dinner," Franco said, explaining that his nutrition plan wasn't just for his role in The Deuce, but also for when he starred as notorious filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. "Speaking of sex scenes, [Wiseau] has some infamous sex scenes."

"He is unnaturally cut [and] he's incredibly pale. He looks like a muscular corpse," Franco explained. "But I had to depict the making of those scenes, so I started the salads for that and then it just rolled into [The Deuce] and I was like, 'All right, I'll keep it up for the '70s clothes.'"

Not only was Franco acting in those sex scenes from The Deuce, but he also directed two episodes of the series. The 39-year-old star says that filming sex scenes requires a respectful and professional attitude.

"The truth is, you want to be really professional in those things," he said. "No goofy rituals, it's [just] business, everybody up front and honest with each other."

In The Deuce, Franco plays two twin brothers who get wrapped up in the mob and New York's burgeoning pornography business. He stars opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays a prostitute out of Times Square.

Of his time spent with Gyllenhaal, who is also an executive producer on the show, Franco simply says, "All I gotta say is, Maggie Gyllenhaal is the s--t."

"I mean, she is awesome, all around. Everyone knows she's an incredible actress… [but] I think she's going to be the stand-out for this series — she's so good."

The Deuce premieres on HBO on September 10 at 9 p.m. EST, while The Disaster Artist opens nationwide December 8.