On the one hand, James Franco is a hero. The guy who acted in the cult classic ‘Freaks And Geeks’, the man who was brilliant as Harry Osborn in the ‘Spider-Man’ films and who recently made us laugh with his hair-perfect impression of Justin Bieber. On the other, there hasn’t been an actor since Joaquin Phoenix who has divided opinion.
Now, the actor has popped up in Bullett Magazine [bullettmedia.com] where he's striking a thoughtful pose surrounded by rocks, a blue sphere and, err, transparent panels while wearing a variety of brightly coloured suits and a sleek quiff. Yes, he looks as dapper as ever but we can't help feeling that the arty shoot is a tad, well, pretentious.
In the accompanying interview, James talks about being considered a Hollywood hunk. 'I don’t know if I ever tried to break away from being considered a heartthrob,' he says. 'I actually think there are times when a role calls for you to look your best.' So Renaissance man or not? Let's celebrate Mr Franco's most pretentious moments below…
1) Dr Franco, I Presume
With a brain that's bigger than ours, Franco's currently studying for a PhD in English at Yale. But it seems like all the multitasking was getting to him; some wag snapped a photo of him getting some well needed zzz’s during a lecture at Columbia University. We’ve all been there, right?
2) The actor slash singer thing
We can all list actors who’ve made the unfortunate leap into singing (hi, Russell Crowe) and Franco is no different. As he told Rolling Stone, he’s aware of the haterz, “I’m sure there are a lot (of) sceptical people, hearing about me doing music.” Check out this track from his band Daddy, ‘Love In The Old Days’, it see Franco going ‘spoken word’ over a funky, 60s psychedelic backing. Well, we definitely didn’t see that coming.
3) The Oscars
As Tina Fey quipped to Anne Hathaway in her Golden Globes opening monologue: "I have not seen someone so alone and abandoned like that since you were onstage with James Franco at the Oscars," which got one of the biggest laughs of the evening. The chemistry between Franco and Anne was a little bit awkward, with the laid-back actor not meshing with Anne’s eager-to-please vibe. He defended his hosting to David Letterman by saying: “I think the Tasmanian Devil would looked stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway. She has a lot of energy!” Still, the nadir of the evening lay entirely on Franco’s shoulders- when he dressed up like Marilyn Monroe.
4) His Gucci ad
“You’re running me…” Franco says in his black and white ad for Gucci. There’s much “smelling the fart acting” going on as he looks moodily into the camera, pre-dating Brad Pitt’s unintentionally funny ad for Chanel.
James made a guest appearance in 30 Rock as himself. He wooed Liz Lemon’s character, not before admitting his heart belonged to another, specifically a Japanese body pillow called Kimiko. Real life Franco would totally be secretly dating a Japanese body pillow, right?
6) The ultimate multitasker
In this ad for the GALAXY Note 10.1, the actor reveals how he's able to do SO much with his time, from hanging out with hot girls to telling mathematicians they’re wrong. It all comes off as a little conceited and very cringey.
But what's your verdict on Mr Franco? Does he come off as conceited or super-hip? Have your say below...
By Priya Elan