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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23 thoughts on “The Many Faces of… James Franco

  1. 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.

    • 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • 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?

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  6. 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!

    • 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)

  7. 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.

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