Remember last fall’s insanity surrounding the release, then not-release, then okay-but-online-only release of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korea-spoofing The Interview? David Letterman does. Franco stopped by Wednesday’s Late Show, where Letterman had some pointed questions for the actor-stoner-scholar.
The bit began innocuously enough, with Letterman asking Franco how he reacted to the controversy surrounding the film’s release and if he ever thought the debacle would cost him his career. “We never felt like we were irresponsible or doing something wrong,” Franco responded. “We made a comedy. We weren’t going out on a limb saying there’s some messed up things going on over there—I think pretty much the rest of the world agrees.”
Letterman continued to push Franco, citing the famous “shouting fire in a crowded theater” trope that explains the boundaries of free speech. “You had every right to release the film in theaters, had every right, except for the possibility that there might have been something untoward happen,” Letterman explained.
Franco responded that nothing happened and that, in fact, the film could have made more than $100 million if it had been theatrically released—to which Letterman deadpanned, “Well, as long as you didn’t get hurt.”
Watch the whole interview below if you need a little cringe in your afternoon.