‘Franklin’ Star Noah Jupe on Michael Douglas’ ‘Hilarious’ Farting Scene and Working With New Superman David Corenswet in ‘Lady in the Lake’

The last time I spoke to Noah Jupe was four years ago when he was just 15 years old. It was over Zoom, and he was promoting HBO’s “The Undoing” from a Detroit hotel room, where he was under mandatory quarantine waiting to be cleared to start work on Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move.”

At the time, Jupe’s list of credits already included “The Night Manager,” “Suburbicon,” the first two “A Quiet Place” films and “Ford v Ferrari.” He had earned a Spirit Award nomination for his work starring role in “Honey Boy,” director Alma Har’el’s drama loosely based on Shia LaBeouf’s childhood.

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The British actor is now 19 and I’m meeting him once again over Zoom — this time, he’s in his London-area home — for this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast. He’s promoting Apple TV+’s “Franklin.” The limited series follows Benjamin Franklin, played by Oscar winner Michael Douglas, and his 1776 trip to Paris, where he hopes to persuade the king to fund America’s fight for independence. Jupe co-stars as his 17-year-old grandson and traveling companion Temple.

“My introduction to Ben Franklin was the hundred-dollar bill,” Jupe tells me on the “Just for Variety” podcast. “That’s all I knew about Benjamin Franklin. So for me, this was a massive learning curve and I just had so much to dive into because in the U.K. we don’t spend a lot of time on the American Revolution. It’s briefly, briefly taught.”

Did Michael Douglas ever tell you war stories from Hollywood?

There were a few times we just would be in the middle of a take and he was like, “Oh yeah, One time I was in Brazil or something somewhere…” And then he would just start telling stories of “Romancing the Stone” or working with Steve McQueen.” He did tell some wild stories.

Let’s talk about Temple Franklin drag — all the high-end couture outfits. I would like to dress like that now.

I would like to dress like that now, too. In fact, I tried to steal a bunch of the jackets. I think that costumes for me were such an important and exciting part of this project. I didn’t realize it at first. I was like, “Oh, I’m going to be wearing the wigs or whatever.” But I didn’t realize how sort of special and stunning these costumes were going to be and how much they really make you feel different. They raise your posture. They make you feel more elegant, and it is very helpful for getting into the time period.

Did it take you time to get used to walking in those shoes?

I’m a heel man myself. I actually kind of wear heels normally when I go out. I’m a short guy, so I have to make up for that a little bit. The tights, I wasn’t as familiar with. They got pretty uncomfortable. They got really hot and sticky. It was not fun at times.

What about Benjamin Franklin farting? I did not expect that.

Michael discovered that [Franklin] had written a whole thing on flatulence, and was really interested in the bowels and all of that. Michael was like, “I think he should just fart in this scene. It would be brilliant.” It’s hilarious.

You have “Lady in the Lake” coming up, also for Apple TV+. You got to work with the new Superman, David Corenswet.

He’s a fantastic actor and a great guy, and we really got on on set. I was only there for a few weeks. I was shooting “Franklin” at the same time. So I basically, I had think a two-week holiday. They gave the crew a two-week holiday for “Franklin.” The shoot was so long, it was 160 days. I went from “Franklin” to “Lady in the Lake” in Baltimore for the two-week holiday, and then came back to “Franklin” afterwards.

When you heard David was cast as Superman, were you surprised or were you like, “That makes sense.”

That made complete sense to me. He’s definitely got what it takes to have the composure, but also he’s a very strong guy. I would let him protect my city.

You reunited with Alma Ha’rel for “Lady in the Lake” and now I hear you’re developing another movie together?

A good friend of both of ours, Zach Shields, has written a project and Alma and Chris Leggett are on to produce with my production company that I started with my parents [Katy Cavanagh and Chris Jupe]. Zach will direct it. He was part of Dead Man’s Bones, which was an amazing band with Ryan Gosling back in the day.

You’ll star in it?

When do you start shooting?

We’re still in development right now. Nothing’s confirmed as of yet, but hopefully this year.

Will this be the first movie you’re producing with your parents?

Potentially. I think at this point, it’s whatever sort of lands in place first. We also have this psychological thriller that my mum’s written. It’s kind of like  “The Beach” meets “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

Should I assume Zach’s script is a drama?

I think it’s kind of like dark comedy. It’s very dark. The characters are in situations which are potentially slightly humorous.

This Q&A was edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the full interview on “Just for Variety” above or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

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