Our condolences to James Franco, whose father, Doug Franco, passed away last week at age 63. The cause of death has not been revealed as yet, but James’ mother, Betsy Franco did tweet a very heartbreaking message yesterday writing, “It is true that my sweet, generous husband passed away. He gave so much to his three sons and me, and to many other people, too.” The family has always seemed very close with James often mentioning his dad in interviews revealing things like, “I’m not serious all the time. It’s not like I grew up in a house full of jokes, but my dad did turn me on to Monty Python.” We’re sending out our sincerest best wishes to the whole family.
As much as we rip on James Franconon-stop, we’ve always felt that his weird giggly brand of self-involvement does more good in the universe than ill. Like, for example, when James Franco buys a portrait of himself from a 13-year-old super fan. While the 127 Hours actor stopped by the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday to promote his art installation “Memories of Idaho” (sure, of course), he spotted Macy Armstrong‘s yarn portrait of him and, knowing great art when he sees his own face on it, asked to buy it. Earning a spot on the wall in James Franco’s Hall of James Francos is no joke; someone else’s homemade college is headed for the fireplace as we speak.
“Ohmygod I don’t know what just happened but I can’t breath! I gave James my art! And he has my email! And he’s seen my 127 Hours painting!! AHHHH,” Armstrong wrote on her James Franco Forever tumblr yesterday. “He looked at me, he spoke to me, and I’m pretty sure we mentally got married Everyone on the street thinks I’m crazy because Im freaking out! Its like a dream!” Oh man, mental marriage is exactly the kind of thing Franco would be into…but hopefully Macy can wait a few years before making him her official brain-husband.
Since he just got surprisingly good reviews for summer action flick Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, it seems like there’s really only one perfect career path for James Franco: returning to General Hospital. The Oscar-nominee will be headed back to Port Charles this fall, having guest starred for a two-month arc in 2009 as a serial killer. Really, how does he plan to top a role that amazing? We can just picture a sweaty Franco pacing back in forth in a boardroom, trying to explain how super-intelligent chimps make perfect sense on a soap opera.
E! Online has an exclusive pic of James Franco’s return to set, and if you guessed it would feature him drooling fake blood through his classic Franco grin, you are correct. According to the show’s plot synopsis, the upcoming episode would feature “psychotic artist Franco returning to Port Charles just as Jason Morgan and Samantha McCall are about to become husband and wife.” Oh no! Not Jason and Samantha, whoever they are! They are def going to get a super-chimp-related surprised on their wedding day!
We got some good news and bad news for you James Franco fans out there. The good news is, he made a sex tape. The bad news, it’s apparently pretty awful. During an appearance on Conanlast night, the Rise of The Planet of the Apes star and renaissance man came clean about the one aspect of film he’s not so great at. “When I was young, it’s not like I went down to Van Nuys and tried to break into the porn industry,” he admitted. “I got a video camera and my girlfriend and I decided to film ourselves. And watched it back and said yeah, let’s never watch that again.” Although we’d kind of expect as much. If he can’t get the energy level up for hosting the dang Oscars, we can’t imagine his sex tape would be any better.
But the experience made him have a new reverence and respect for adult film stars. “Those people in porno’s are great performers,” says the Academy Award nominee. “They’re selling it to an audience!” He then went on to randomly mention his grandma in the next breath, for reasons we can only guess at. Damn it Franco, first rule of the porn industry: NEVER bring up Nanna.
It’s official: they’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz! Disney announced that filming began on Tuesday for Oz: The Great And Powerful, the prequel to the 1939 classic. The tales of the casting are an epic in their own right, but it looks like director Sam Raimi has a dream team to populate the emerald city.
James Franco has the lead as the young Wizard, and fellow off-kilter-big-studio-indie-movie type Michelle Williams will star as Glinda, the Good Witch. Mila Kunis is gonna tear it up as Theodora, commonly known as “the Wicked Witch” but fans of the musical Wicked know she’s really not that bad. Rachel Weisz rounds out the main characters as Theordora’s sister, Evanora, and Zach Braff lends a supporting role as the Wizard’s assistant.
The CGI and technics extravaganza will trace the story of the Wizard, from his humble beginnings as a Kansas circus magician named Oscar Diggs, through his arrival in Oz and how he eventually earned the title of ‘The Great And Powerful’ Now that Harry Potter is all said and done, we think Hollywood is looking for a hot young Wizard to take his place. We bet Disney’s gonna follow the yellow brick road all the way to the bank with this one. To bad we have to wait until February, 2013.
We feel sort of embarrassed. We were under the impression that we knew every tiny fleeting thought that passed through James Franco‘s constantly-churning brain: the state of modern dance, the awfulness of the Oscars, his upcomingdance album. Now we’re finding out that James Franco and Ahna O’Reilly broke up, and we are agog. Who’s Ahna O’Reilly? Oh, just Franco’s girlfriend of the past five years. The man tried to sell us invisible artwork and we didn’t hear a peep about his extremely visible girlfriend?
We are not surprised to find out, however, that it was Franco’s jam-packed schedule that sent O’Reilly packing. “It’s over… We’d been living together in L.A. and then came to New York to go school for two years. Then I signed up for more school at Yale. I think that was it for her,” the actor told Playboy. You know what they say: if you love something, enroll in twelve doctorate programs at one time and attempt to sell an invisible ferry boat online as part of performance art piece. If she comes back to you, that’s how you know.
We’ve teased James Franco to the breaking point! The Rise of the Planet of the Apes actor has had enough snarking, and he wanted the world to know: Franco knew the Oscars were going to bomb before the show even hit the air, especially the sight of James Franco dressed as Marilyn Monroe. “I was so pissed about that I was deliberately going to fall onstage and hopefully my dress would fall off or something — they couldn’t blame that on me; I was in high heels,” Franco explains in his new Playboy interview, later adding, “I just didn’t want to fight anymore, even when they said, ‘You’ll come out as Marilyn Monroe. It’ll be funny.’ Me in drag is not funny.” Just admitting it is the most important step, James; it’s going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay.
There is something else that’s been stuck in the actor’s craw: a little rumor in 2008 that claimed James Franco is a gay rapist. “Then Gawker picked that up and did this ‘Gay Rapist’ story that was so f—ing offensive because I have friends who have been raped,” Franco rages, referring to a New York Post blind item that claims an A-list actor sexually assaulted, then paid off, his boyfriend. “My lawyer called them and said that it was completely untrue and to take it down. They said, ‘Well, we’re just reporting what the New York Post told us. If James wants to make a comment on our blog, we’re happy to report it.’ It was a choice. Either let this thing build and become bigger and bigger, or just let it go and let them be the petty scumbags that they are.” At least this explains why Franco always has that sleepy half-smirk on his face: he must be using every ounce of his strength not do constantly go ballistic on us gossip mongers.
Floating wigs, lightening and a beat that could have been stolen from Prince‘s recording studio in 1993 via time machine: yup, sounds about right for James Franco’s music video for “Rising.” A track on Franco’s upcoming album Turn It Up with drag performance artist Kalup Linzy, “Rising” seems to declare to the world, “I know that I can overcome all of life’s obstacles… specifically this giant tuxedo-wearing Ghost Franco that follows me around everywhere I go.” The video’s end credits indicate that Franco supplied “additional footage,” which make sense seeing as how he doesn’t actually seem to be audibly singing. Overall we feel like the whole video is just an exercise in creepy smiles and rhyming “me” with “me.” That being said, if someone is interested in making a dubstep remix? We might have a summer jam in the palm of over grinning, bow-tie wearing hands.
It looks like we’ve finally reached the point where even James Francois starting to make fun of James Franco. Think about it: if you were writing, say, an SNL parody of the 127 Hours actor, what might you have him do? If you said, “Exchange nonexistent pieces of art for actual human money,” you might actually be Franco himself. As part of the Musuem of Non-Visible Art (already a bad sign), James will send you works “composed entirely of ideas” to raise money for his project with art team Praxis, which they claim “redefines the concept of what is real.” So, just to reiterate: there is no actual physical art involved, just Franco’s massive cojones.
A few of piece of art currently available include a nonexistent “full-scale steamboat” sculpture, a gigantic room filled with Jell-o and the “visualization of perfect peace.” In case you’re wondering if anyone would actually go in for Franco’s monkeyshines, the project has already managed to earn $11,431 through the group’s Kickstarter page, donations from supporters who apparently have no concept of the value of Earth money. We mean, at least James Franco’s album is going to have music on it. Unless….FRANCOOOOOOOOOOO!