Last week I mentioned how Jason Schwartzman had a similar appeal to me as that of James Franco so I thought it only fair he had his turn in the spotlight.
I guess I first saw Franco as Harry Osborn in Spiderman but it was when somebody lent me a copy of the biopic about James Dean in which he stars as the lead that I first started to become interested in his abilities as an actor. Not to say Spiderman isn’t great, or that his performance wasn’t but its a hard thing to get anything serious from, and he was a bit mopey. I was going through a massive James Dean phase at the time and the fact there was somebody living who had played him took on a whole new meaning (like when I saw Toyah Wilcox as Peter Pan in panto).
From then on I looked out for Franco and have thoroughly enjoyed his recent bout with Hollywood biggies like Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and 127 Hours. You have to take it back to his appearance in Apatow’s cult TV series Freaks & Geeks to see where it all started though, and to see why his relationship with Rogen in Pineapple Express seems so spot on.
Another thing about Franco is the strings to his bow, he’s not only an actor but also a writer (with one published collection of short stories Palo Alto to his name, a scholar, a dancer, a filmmaker… That’s something that inspires me a great deal, someone who could sit back and accept that he’s a big screen star but goes out for that challenge, continues with his education, keeps pushing his abilities and what his fortunate position has made him able to afford. What a guy!