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Busy Philipps: James Franco ‘Shoved Me to the Ground,’ Was ‘Brutal’ on ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Set

Busy Philipps and James Franco may have played the on-off couple Kim Kelly and Daniel Desario on Freaks and Geeks, but in real life they weren’t exactly friends on set of the short-lived but beloved NBC sitcom.

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When asked about the “most difficult celebrity” she’d ever had to work with during an interview on Watch What Happens Live Wednesday, July 13, Philipps immediately called out the 38-year-old actor. “James Franco and I really didn’t get along when we were on Freaks and Geeks. We were 19 and we really, really disliked each other. It’s well-documented,” she said.

“He shoved me to the ground once. It was really brutal,” the actress, 37, said. 

James Franco as Daniel Desario and Busy Philipps as Kim Kelly on 1999's Freaks And Geeks
James Franco as Daniel Desario and Busy Philipps as Kim Kelly on 1999’s ‘Freaks And Geeks.’

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Now that they’ve grown up, they’ve put the past behind them and buried the hatchet. “We’re friends now and we really like each other now, as adults, but as kids we did not get along,” she said of filming the show’s first and only season, which first aired in 1999. The teen drama helped launch their careers, along with those of costars Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.

Philipps also dished on off-screen smooches with her costars on another hit show of hers, Dawson’s Creek. “I guess we all kissed everybody,” she said, but clarified that she didn’t sleep with any of them. “I really messed up in my twenties,” she joked of her missed opportunities with her male costars on Dawson’s Creek (who included James Van Der Beek and Joshua Jackson), Freaks and Geeks and Cougar Town. “Now I’m married and it’s game over,” she said of tying the knot with screenwriter Marc Silverstein in 2007. 

Busy Philipps and James Franco
Busy Philipps and James Franco

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Back in 2008, Franco opened up to GQ about his behavior during his Freaks and Geeks days. “I’ll admit I was not a team player. A lot of it, I think, just had to do with being obnoxious when the camera was on someone else. Maybe I’d eat a banana in the background that would take focus away from other actors. I didn’t think about it that way, but now I could say, ‘Look, the scene’s not about me, it’s about them, just chill out, James. Don’t eat a f–king banana.’”

Watch the WWHL clip above!

Ian Drew and Travis Cronin dished on all the latest on this story during Us Weekly’s Facebook Live News Update

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