The usual question we ask brilliant people is, “Is there anything you’re not good at”? You could ask James Franco the same thing but a more appropriate question for him would be, “Is there anything you won’t try”? From working in McDonald’s, modelling for Gucci, author, poet, actor, comedian and artist; the list is long. So what has driven this boy from Palo Alto USA all the way to worldwide success and recognition?
There are many people who inspire me and my wish would be to have a cup of tea with them and ask this very question. This isn’t an impossible dream but it is unlikely, so I will just have to give you an answer based on what I have seen and heard. Most people, I‘m sure, believe that actors come from privileged backgrounds and future stardom came easy, you may be surprised.
Boys will be boys and James Franco was no exception, ‘teenage angst’ as he calls it was played out and was the reason he gave when arrested for underage drinking and starting his artistic career early as a graffiti artist. Encouraged by his parents to pursue his academic studies, James enrolled at UCLA to major in English but James had other ideas and dropped out to his parents disappointment.
Imagine James Franco working in McDonald’s, hard isn’t it but that’s exactly what he did to give himself financial stability in the pursuit of his acting dream after his parents refused to support him. Tough love worked and gave him the opportunity to prove that he was serious, a vegetarian flipping burgers to get somewhere shows determination and the ability to do what is necessary.
James is a classic case of a boy who did good! What is perceived as ‘normal’ and recognisable to most about boys growing up and the parents that nurture them was no different for James and his family. We all have to start somewhere and the only way to do that is to be completely open and choose roads without snobbery as a blockade.
The most endearing thing about James Franco is his ability to be completely comfortable with people of all backgrounds and have fun. He is an inspiration to actors and artists of all ages because of his realness and unselfish motives to help promote their individual styles; not an easy task for a creative who feels like their flying solo and whose only wish is to do what they love.
James Franco is a man but a boy at heart, who without bias, inquisitively takes the ideas and passions of others seriously and still has the time to deliver such varied performances in film and now theatre. I wonder what he’ll try next?