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The Many Faces of… James Franco

Overview in pictures of the roles and movies of actor James Franco

James Franco was born on April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California. He went to Palo Alto High School and appeared in several plays. During high school he got into trouble with the law for various things like graffiti and shoplifting and briefly was a ward of the state, looking at juvenile hall. He managed to change and went to university in California where he majored in English. He decided to drop out after his freshman year to pursue an acting career. He took lessons with Robert Cearnegie at the Playhouse West. His first appearance on a screen was in a Pizza Hut commercial, but he soon acted in several TV shows like Pacific Blue, 1973, To Serve and Protect and Freaks and Geeks. His first movie role was in Never Been Kissed and played James Dean in the James Dean TV movie for which he got nominations for a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award. His next role would introduce him to a world wide audience, playing Harry Osborn in Spider-Man. Looking at his filmography you can say he is a very hard working actor, acting since 1997, with 84 titles to his name. These include City by the Sea, Tristan + Isolde, Flyboys, Pineapple Express, Milk, Eat Pray Love, 127 Hours, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Spring Breakers and Oz the Great and Powerful.

An overview in pictures of the roles and movies of actor James Franco

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What’s your favorite James Franco role?

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Category: Movies
  • Victor says:

    Favorites: “Milk” and “Pineapple Express” for films and “Freaks and Geeks” for television.

    Least Favorite: “About Cherry”

    Interestingly enough, though I am a fan of his I like him more in supporting roles than carrying the film. I have not watched “127 Hours”, though.

    We were lucky to get him to come, if only for one day, to this year’s Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I agree with you on Pineapple Express, I actually didn’t know that was him until I was making this post :) Have not seen Milk. I thought he carried 127 Hours well and would suggest watching it. Nice that he showed up, especially looking at the amount of movies he does!

      May 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  • Sydney Aaliyah Michelle says:

    Probably 127 hours and Tristan and Isolde.

    May 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    • Nostra says:

      He was great in 127 Hours, have not checked out Tristan and Isolde yet.

      May 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm
  • Mettel Ray says:

    Spring Breakers because it is the last role I saw and it was awesome.

    May 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I think that’s my favorite…”Just look at my sh*t” ;) A classic quote to me!

      May 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm
  • Chris @ filmhipster says:

    Honestly, I’m still waiting for his breakout performance. Haven’t seen anything that has impressed me yet.

    May 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm
    • Nostra says:

      You have seen Spring Breakers right? Didn’t you like him in that?

      May 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm
  • ruth says:

    I’m generally not that impressed w/ Franco but I quite like him as Harry Osborne and he’s all right in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Terrible choice for Tristan + Isolde though, I wish Henry Cavill had gotten the lead instead.

    May 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I hear more people feeling like that about him, but personally always thought he was good.

      May 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm
  • Marilyn Armstrong says:

    I’ve seen him and so far, seen nothing special. But he’s young. He may grow into more with time … and some meaty roles.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah and the amount of movies he does he got a lot of room to grow!

      May 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm
  • Marilyn Armstrong says:

    He really needs to start being more selective about the roles he takes. Volume doesn’t get you there. So many potentially great actors ruined it all by doing so many crappy movies that eventually, no one took them seriously. Less can be a LOT more.

    May 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, do you feel De Niro did that?

      May 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm
  • Marilyn Armstrong says:

    Sorta. He did some really excellent work early on and some decent stuff more recently, but in the last 10 years, it’s been pretty much crapola. But I also think that he did the crap LATE in his career so people remember him for the good stuff. A lot of actors do a lot of crap late because they need the $$$, but if you start off doing a lot of crap, it really weighs you down. You can get away with stuff if you’ve paid your dues … but if you never pay your dues, you’ll never get a shot at the good stuff and I think Franco is blowing himself up. I don’t know how much talent he has, but I’m not sure I’ll ever find out, either. And he’s the one calling the shots.

    May 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, that’s a good point about people first making a name for themselves and then making movies which are not so good anymore. There are more examples of that.
      I’m wondering…how do you feel about Kevin Costner? Do you also think he went the same way De Niro did or do you think he never was as good/big?

      May 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm
  • Marilyn Armstrong says:

    Costner is very good at what he’s good at … small, personal movies. Whenever he’s tried to do the big heroic stuff, he stinks. I think he either (a) started to believe his own publicity or (b) was getting some really bad advice, like maybe from an ambitious agent. Bull Durham, Tin Cup, a couple of others are good movies, good acting. And good scripts. Then, mixed in there OMG are Waterworld, Robin Hood and Wyatt Earp — all horrible. I’ve never been able to sit all the way through any of them.

    Give the man a good story, a relationship, emotions … he can act. Try to make him into A HERO, he just doesn’t have that thing, whatever it is, that makes a heroic performer. He’s a good actor but he’s lost a lot of credibility.

    IF he keeps doing good movies, I think people will forgive and forget. One more epic, expensive, MONEY LOSING (the ultimate Hollywood sin!) catastrophe and I doubt he’ll recover. He really has to stay focused. And never ever believe his own press releases!

    May 13, 2013 at 1:32 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that and I think you hit the nail on the head with him not having to play the hero, I feel the same as well…he just misses some charisma in order to be believable (at least that’s my feeling about it)

      May 13, 2013 at 7:41 am
  • Raghav says:

    One of the smartest actors in the business. I’m kinda half way in terms of his acting capabilities, but other than that I think he’s doing great producing films, buying scripts, and just trying different things.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:55 am
    • Nostra says:

      I did not know that, but that is a very smart thing to do!

      May 14, 2013 at 10:34 am
  • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

    It’s gotta be Spring Breakers. His performance was insane.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm

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