Michael Douglas Quips He's Playing 'Rascal' Benjamin Franklin Because 'I Wanted to See How I Looked in Tights'

A first look at Douglas in the upcoming Apple TV+ limited series 'Franklin' was unveiled on Monday

<p>Apple TV+</p> Michael Douglas in

Apple TV+

Michael Douglas in 'Franklin', premiering April 12 on Apple TV+

Michael Douglas' reason for playing Benjamin Franklin came down to one thing — tights.

While speaking at the 2024 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Monday, the actor, 79, revealed that he joined the cast of Apple TV+ limited series Franklin due to being "at a point in my career where I'm trying different things."

"I've never done period [genre], so I wanted to see how I look in tights," he joked, adding that the costume was to blame for his "initial attraction."

Douglas also said that playing one of America's founding fathers — whom he called "a bit of a rascal" — was a great opportunity that included a "wonderful, wonderful cast."

Related: Michael Douglas Transforms into American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin for Apple TV+: First Look

David Fisher/Shutterstock Michael Douglas
David Fisher/Shutterstock Michael Douglas

"We had a great cast [and a] wonderful director in Tim Van Patten," said Douglas. "I think it helped us in the sense that it was a real ensemble group. I think we all wanted to stay away from these sorts of historical pictures that are giving you a history lesson but don't really get into the intrigue, the gamesmanship, and the gamble that we had sort of talked about early on."

In the new series, out April 12, The Kominsky Method alum is joined by Daniel Mays, Noah Jupe, Thibault de Montalembert, Ludivine Sagnier, Eddie Marsan, Assaad Bouab, Jeanne Balibar, and Theodore Pellerin.

He praised his cast and noted that the show included "probably the best production I've been involved with in my career."

Related: Michael Douglas Devours 'Biggest Oyster I Have Ever Seen' in Under 20 Seconds: 'What Can I Say'

<p>Apple TV+</p> Michael Douglas in 'Franklin'

Apple TV+

Michael Douglas in 'Franklin'

According to a press release, the series explores "the thrilling story of one of the greatest gambles of Benjamin Franklin's career."

"By virtue of his fame, charisma and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers and hostile colleagues, all while engineering the Franco-American alliance of 1778 and the final peace treaty with England of l783. The eight-year French mission stands as Franklin's most vital service to his country, without which America would not have won the Revolution," the press release reads.

It is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff's book, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America.

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Franklin premieres Friday, April 12, on Apple TV+.

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