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At the party tonight, a little less than a year after shooting Spring Breakers, they've just finished the last of the coke with us and a few girls are lounging on their bed watching music videos and the bottle of Grey Goose is finished, which means it's time to move on to the bottle of Jack Daniel's, and this seems like a good life. The Twins believe it will be a better life when Spring Breakers finally gets here. That's when people will really know who they are.
The Twins have been masterful at creating their notoriety out of practically nothing. (They've never had an agent or a publicist.) It used to be that people got famous for actually having done something. The Twins are part of the more recent phenomenon of people achieving celebrity without doing much of anything. When Spring Breakers comes out on March 25, it could be the Twins' moment to become that old kind of famous. The Twins want to be actors, but the roles they're primarily interested in playing are themselves. Each time they meet up with a reporter, they seem to be performing as an indivisible character — a set of perverse, identical twin brothers from Atlanta who party with rappers and strippers — that blurs the line between their life and their work.
Question: If you keep acting like you're rich and famous, will you wake up one day and suddenly be rich and famous?
About a week after that party in January, the Spring Breakers trailer is finally released. There are lots of skimpy bikinis and shirtless shots of James Franco and guns being fired into the air. Gucci Mane mean mugs for the camera. The neon-drenched frames and rapid cuts seem to explode on the beat of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," a dubstep tune with 125 million (and counting) plays on YouTube. Gawker, MTV, Huffington Post, and Slate all pick it up. For maybe two-tenths of a second, the Twins are visible in the out-of-focus background of a single shot. Basically, they're not in it.
A few hours later, my phone buzzes with a text message:
When the photographer and I arrive back at the Twins' loft that night, the mood is somber. Thurman is slouched on the couch. Sidney is talking to someone on the phone in the bathroom. They've already started in on a bottle of Grey Goose. Thurman looks tired.
"You have to understand," Thurman says, "what it feels like to tell all of your friends and family about some shit like this." For more than a year, the Twins have been telling people that they're going to be in Harmony Korine's next film. They have multiple framed photos of James Franco on their walls. They took a month off work. They told everyone to look for that trailer and see how famous they're going to be.
"It makes you seem like a liar," Thurman says.
It is easy to assume that the Twins are liars. They tell stories that sound obviously exaggerated. The events of their lives are hard to fathom. "Liar" isn't the right word, though. The Twins are hustlers. Hustlers like to say what other people want to hear, but, more importantly, what they want to be true, what could be true if you just give them enough time.
In an interview with New York Magazine, they said, "We're making an HBO show with Harmony [Korine, Spring Breakers' director] about shit [...] Half reality, half scripted." There is no contract with HBO for a show, reality or otherwise, directed by Korine about the Twins. There is, according to the Twins, the promise of Korine's next project being a vehicle for them. This is the kind of lie one tells with the hope that it comes true.
They told me they've turned down "a bunch" of reality show producers who want to turn their lives into a cheap footnote of the "Jersey Shore" era. Which networks? "All of them." Maybe that's not exactly true, but give them enough time and attention and it could be.
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