Busy Philipps Says James Franco Continuously Made Her Uncomfortable While Starring on ‘Freaks and Geeks’

Busy Philipps had a rough time working with James Franco on Freaks and Geeks. According to Philipps, their tumultuous on-screen relationship was quite similar to their behind-the-scenes dynamic. Kim Kelley and Daniel Desario’s constant fighting reflected how Philipps and Franco engaged with each other once the cameras stopped rolling.

And according to Philipps, Franco made her continuously feel uncomfortable while starring in Judd Apatow’s TV series.

Busy Philipps as Kim Kelly, James Franco as Daniel Desario
Busy Philipps as Kim Kelly, James Franco as Daniel Desario | NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Busy Philipps opens up about the sexism she experienced on the set of ‘Freaks and Geeks’

According to Philipps, she faced a ton of sexism on the set of the NBC series. While she claims the other actors on the show were OK, she had a big problem with the way Franco treated her. Philipps even went so far as to call the actor a “pretentious bully.”

“There were times I even went along with being mildly bullied on set, not wanting to make a big deal out of something,” she writes in her memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little. “I was a girl who could work within the incredibly sexist system that was set up, a girl who could take it. Men love a woman who laughs at the joke, especially if the joke is at her expense.”

“No matter what,” she writes, “I was working in a boys’ club, and that’s just the way things were.”

James Franco made Busy Philipps feel uncomfortable while starring on ‘Freaks and Geeks’

In Philipps’ memoir, she details how ill at ease she was around the Disaster Artist star.

While filming a scene, Franco got out of character, grabbed Philipps, and then threw her down to the ground. This ended up knocking the wind out of her.

RELATED: ‘Freaks and Geeks’: Busy Philipps Says James Franco Tried To Steal Her Lines on the Show

As a result, she felt extremely uncomfortable around Franco.

But despite how much he made her uneasy, she didn’t complain about it. She just assumed that’s how the “boys’ club” works.

“That’s how a boys’ club works,” she says. “I already knew there was no sense in trying to express to Judd and Paul (Fieg) how humiliating it had been on set. How James continuously made me uncomfortable and got away with it…”

James Franco and Busy Philipps are OK now as adults

Despite Franco’s unfair treatment of Philipps during their teen years, the actors are now on OK terms.

“James and I have talked about it over the years,” writes Philipps. “At one point, he apologized to me. I was always acutely aware of my expendability, so I felt I needed to never complain, always show up on time and not be difficult. If someone else was being difficult, it was my job to be the easy one or figure out a way to soothe the situation.”

And in an interview with Watch What Happens Live, Philipps talks about her current relationship with Franco.

“We’re friends now, and we really like each other now as adults,” she reveals. “But as kids, we did not get along.”