Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello Again, James

You know how much I love James Dean, so it's no surprise that I'm just as in love with James Franco. There is something so unbelievably natural and boyish about him that makes it impossible to look away. His interviews are intelligent and maddeningly charming, so join me in crushing over Mr. Franco.

Adorable Screen Test

Bits and pieces from this cute interview from BlackBook

When it comes to performances that he hated, or even just disliked, Franco can be blisteringly, but hilariously, harsh on himself. When he’s told that a BlackBook fashion assistant declared Franco her favorite actor, and his 2006 epic Tristan + Isolde her favorite movie, Franco groans and puts his head on the table.
“Wow, I feel bad for her,” he jokes. “She probably hasn’t seen too many movies.”

“I was in between classes, waiting in line at a café,” Franco recalls. “Somebody wrote me that Heath had died, and it really upset me. It was weird, because it seemed like a lot of incredible people died in the past year—Sir Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack. Brad Renfro died the week before Heath and I’d worked with him twice. It was really adding up. So I wrote something about it, that I actually read at the Hammer Museum in LA… ” he says, his voice trailing off. “Whatever… ” He looks embarrassed for a moment, and then explains: “I’m so shy about talking about it, because in print, it sounds like ‘Oh, James Franco likes poetry!’ ”

What designers is he wearing today? At this, Franco sets his spoon down with a determined clink. “Here’s the problem with these questions,” he says. “I don’t mind them, but when I answer them, it sounds like it’s what I want to talk about. Like, Yeah, I’m wearing my Gucci jacket. And you know what I put in my hair today? I put in some Hamadi goo! That’s what I like to talk about in an interview! You know what I mean?” But then Franco good-naturedly reveals the elements of his style: John Varvatos black boots. Acne jeans. A plaid shirt of indeterminate origin. And American Apparel underwear. “I have quite a few colors,” he says, pulling out his shirt to reveal the waistband. “It’s so easy.”

The bill arrives, but the restaurant doesn’t take credit cards, and Franco offers to pay. “Let me give you some cash,” he says, and without a lot of fanfare hands over a twenty. Out on the street, he lights a cigarette, and we walk a few blocks together. Suddenly, he darts over to two young women standing outside the bar holding unlit cigarettes, and offers them a light. A breeze keeps blowing out the flame. Franco keeps flicking the Bic, until he hands one of the young women the lighter and tells her to keep it. The excited gleam in her eyes reveals that she knows who he is, but is keeping cool. Franco seems exhilarated by this brief moment of romantic urban poetry. He may have sucked face with Sean Penn in the past few months, but he hasn’t lost his winning touch with the ladies.

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