James Franco is Everywhere - Features in USA Today and New York Times
It was just last week that we brought you news of two new projects starring the very up-and-coming James Franco. Not that the actor is new to the scene, exactly; he got his start in the late '90s with Judd Apatow's cult-loving "Freaks and Greeks." But it seems with the anticipated Pineapple Express bowing this week and an about-face performance in the upcoming Milk as Harvey's gay partner Scott Smith, Franco's star is burning a bit brighter nowadays. USA Today and the New York Times are throwing fuel on the fire by featuring the 30-year-old actor in some really interesting pieces - a look at the star's dynamism and a candid vignette, respectively. I'm really diggin' the guy myself, so take a look at some of the features.
First, USA Today looks at the NYU-bound actor's upcoming, varying roles in Pineapple Express and Gus Van Sant's Milk, and what that says of the actor who can go from playing a slovenly Saul to a gay politico and Sean Penn's love interest. Milk producer Bruce Cohen explains, "It couldn't be a better showcase for his talent to look at these two roles. They're both different sides of him. He's had a lot of life experience. He can bring the attributes of the young stoner guy he needs for Pineapple, but underneath that is the scholar and the deep thinker and the guy who wants to learn about art and is interested in politics. His performances are complex and layered." While I haven't seen either film yet, these statements feel completely spot-on. Head on over to USA Today for more cool tidbits on the actor, including how Woody Harrelson influenced his wardrobe in Pineapple Express and what Franco wants to do before he starts school.
Before you start thinking Franco is a weed-loving pothead like his Pineapple Express co-star Seth Rogen, Franco says, "I used to smoke weed, but I haven't done it in a long time. Everybody, even now, thinks, 'that guy is stoned.' It's just the way I talk, because I don't smoke weed. Somehow, there's something about me, the way I talk, that implies that I'm on drugs." For proof of that, check out this Screen Test segment (also seen below) from the New York Times. I watched that piece before I actually read the actor's comment and thought the same thing! In the video, Franco also cuts any eventual gay rumoring off at the knees, since apparently he didn't enjoy the minute-long kiss with Sean Penn. Gossip blogs take note!
Of his next roles in Pineapple Express and Milk, Franco bridges the two films in a very clever and symmetrical way. "Who would have thought I'd play a Spicoli-like character and then make out with Spicoli in the same year?" I can't wait to check out both films and see how the guy does. Franco truly seems like a great, rising actor and it's exciting see him grow over the years. His role in the Spider-Man series as Harry Osborn felt really limiting, so it's great to see him take on other, more involved roles, both fun and serious. Pineapple Express, directed by David Gordon Green, is due out in theaters later this week, while Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant, hits theaters this December.