Clark Collis
August 22, 2017 AT 10:02 AM EDT

How similar is James Franco to Tommy Wiseau, the mysterious auteur responsible for cult filmĀ The Room, who Franco portrays in the actor-director’s upcoming movieĀ The Disaster Artist (out Dec. 1)? More similar than the Pineapple Express star would like to admit, as Franco recently confessed to EW, when your writer spoke to him for our now-on-stands Fall Move Preview issue. In fact, Franco admitted that the experience of directing The Disaster Artist, and playing Wiseau, has inspired a sea change in the number of projects the previously prolific multi-hyphenate undertakes.

“I did a lot of soul-searching, and I did a lot of learning on this project, by playing Tommy, and seeing how similar we were in a lot of ways, I hate to admit,” he said. “And then by having Seth [Rogen] and his company produce the movie. Because a lot of the movies I had done before were produced by my production company, and my producer Vince Jolivette and I were just off on our own, just doing whatever, with our strange William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy adaptations. To have Seth and his company there really taught me how to be a much more responsible and conscious director. And so, yeah, I do have a bunch of projects that are back-logged, but I’ve really changed since making the film. I’ve slowed down a lot. I’m leaving for Sante Fe tomorrow to work on a western anthology series with the Coen brothers (Netflix’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) for a couple of weeks. But I haven’t acted in seven months, you know, so I’m really slowing down, and only working on things that I absolutely love at this point.”

RELATED: James Franco directed The Disaster Artist in the voice of Tommy Wiseau

The Disaster Artist is based on The Room actor Greg Sestero’s memoir of the same name and costars Rogen, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor, and Sharon Stone, among others.

Watch the film’s teaser trailer, above.

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