Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Artist Formerly Known As (James Franco)

Tomorrow, the highly anticipated movie Eat Pray Love opens in theatres, starring Pretty Woman herself, Julia Roberts.  But to be honest, the only thing making me take notice is the presence of the elusive James Franco, who I am so fascinated with right now. (and not just because he’s hot, which he is, obviously.)  I’m convinced we should all pay attention to what he’s doing, which seems so scattered and unintentional, but I can’t seem to write him off as another crazy (Joaquin Phoenix-style) attention-whore that Hollywood is famous for.  Why is he all over the place?  Can he not decide on a career?  Or is he just re-defining the boundaries of art and life.  Before I get too philosophical, let me highlight why I can’t get enough of James Franco.

On Freaks and Geeks, James played Daniel Desario, the bad boy who won the hearts of teenage misfits everywhere with his Dylan McKay-like persona, rebelling against everyone in his life, full of angst, and damaged to the point where all you wanted to do was save him from himself.  He was so rock’n’roll.  That show was kick-ass by the way and it’s a shame that it only lasted one season.  Judd Apatow directed it before his hit comedies (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up).  You can see similarities in both his casting choices and a hint of comedy beneath the over-dramatic-ness of it all.  Love it.

He’s smart as hell.  If you are even remotely interested in him, make sure you check out this amazing article from New York Magazine (The James Franco Project), on how he’s got this insatiable thirst for learning and only sleeps like three hours a night.  Not because he’s busy partying or drinking himself into rehab a-la-Lohan, but because he’s concurrently completing three masters programs.  Who does that?!  He makes everyone else look like under-achievers.

His stint on General Hospital right now is so random.  Critics are wondering why someone with an already-successful film career would choose to work on a soap opera, where most actors start their careers.  I may be biased since I’m a crazy General Hospital fan but, isn’t he just expressing various art forms.  Acting in itself is still an art-form, no matter where you do it.  I guess the point is, no one knows why he’s choosing to do what he’s doing.  His ambiguity makes him a topic for discussion, and whether his actions are intentional or not, he’s still a mystery that remains unsolved.

Just for fun, check out the Freaks and Geeks intro, featuring my wake-up song, Bad Reputation, by the lovely Joan Jett!

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