Why Michael Douglas Was Determined to Portray Benjamin Franklin's 'Farting' Habit in Apple TV+ Series “Franklin”

"That was my addition to the script was actually," said Douglas, adding that the American polymath, who he plays in the new Apple TV+ series, was "very proud" of his tendency to pass gas

Michael Douglas is committed to portraying Benjamin Franklin as authentically as possible — the good, the bad and the stinky.

During an appearance on The Jess Cagle Show, Douglas, who plays the founding father in Apple TV+'s Franklin, opened up about a unique choice he made for his portrayal and the details he wanted to include.

In the show's pilot episode, the 79-year-old actor has a "fart moment." Though it may be unbeknownst to most fans, Douglas revealed that flatulence was an integral part of who Franklin was in real life. According to co-host Julia Cunningham, the diplomat was a "very funny" person and even penned a collection of essays titled Fart Proudly.

Related: Michael Douglas Has the Fate of the American Revolution in His Hands in the First Trailer for Franklin

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

Apple TV+

Michael Douglas in 'Franklin'

"That was my addition to the script was actually, because I read [Fart Proudly]," Douglas explained. "I mean, we did get a couple of criticisms of this show about, 'Ugh, they try to show him farting.'"

He went on to share how he sent Fart Proudly to the critics who were unaware about this part of Franklin's history and misunderstood the moment in the pilot.

"He was very proud," he said of Franklin and how he passed gas. "He wrote a whole book about it, so I decided the opening episode."

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

Based on Stacy Schiff's book, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, Franklin tells "the thrilling story of one of the greatest gambles of Benjamin Franklin's career."

Set in December 1776, the American polymath sets off to conduct his "world famous" electrical experiments, but his "passion and power are put to the test," according to the show's official synopsis.

With the "fate of American Independence" hanging in the balance, Franklin sails to France for a "secret mission." Using his fame and charisma and without proper diplomatic training, Franklin manages to convince the "absolute monarchy to underwrite America’s experiment in democracy," a feat that proves vital in winning the Revolutionary War.

While speaking at the 2024 Winter Television Critics Association press tour in February, the actor revealed that he joined the project because he was "at a point in my career where I'm trying different things."

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

Apple TV+

Michael Douglas and Noah Jupe in 'Franklin'

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

"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."

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 in Franklin.

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New episodes of Franklin drop Fridays on Apple TV+.

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