James Franco
USINFO | 2014-06-18 14:32

Born James Edward Franco
April 19, 1978 (age 36)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter, producer, film editor, teacher, author, poet
Years active 1997–present
Family Dave Franco (brother)

James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978) is an American Jewish actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, author and poet. His first prominent role was a lead part, "Daniel Desario", on the short-lived cult hit television program Freaks and Geeks, he later achieved recognition for playing the title character in the TV biographical film James Dean (2001), in which he won a Golden Globe Award, and for playing Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi'sSpider-Man trilogy (2002–2007). He is also known for his roles in the films Pineapple Express (2008), Milk (2008), 127 Hours(2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), Spring Breakers (2013), and This Is the End (2013). He also had a recurring role in theABC soap opera General Hospital. For his role in 127 Hours, Franco was awarded an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Franco volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity and has taught a class at New York University in feature filmmaking and production. In 2013, he began teaching a course in short film production at the University of Southern California and a course in screenwriting at his alma mater, University of California, Los Angeles. He is a PhD candidate at Yale University.

On February 23, 2011, Franco made a cameo appearance on NBC's Minute to Win It where the real-life Ralston was participating as a contestant playing for charity. After having an uncredited cameo in the opening scene of The Green Hornet (2011), he starred opposite Natalie Portman and Danny McBride in the Medieval fantasy comedy Your Highness. In the film, he plays Fabious, a prince who teams up with his brother (McBride) to rescue the soon to be bride of Fabious (played by ZooeyDeschanel). In May 2010, he was cast to star in Rupert Wyatt's $93 million budgeted Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a reboot of the Planet of the Apes series which was released on August 5. Franco starred alongside Winona Ryder in The Letter, originally entitled The Stare, directed by Jay Anania. He was cast as a drug-addicted lawyer in About Cherry, also starring Heather Graham, which started shooting the following month in California. He dropped out of the indie film While We're Young to star in Oz the Great and Powerful, a Disney prequel to L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). Filming began in July 2011, and the film was released on March 8, 2013. He has signed to do a sequel to it.

At the end of September 2010, the actor acquired the rights to Stephen Elliott's The Adderall Diaries, with the intention to adapt, direct, and star in the film. It was announced in January 2011 that the actor has planned to, not only star in, but direct himself in The Night Stalker, a film version of author Philip Carlo's book about the 1980s serial killer, Richard Ramirez. Co-screenwriter of the screenplay, Nicholas Constantine, was initially unconvinced that Franco would be right for the movie, until he learned of Franco's desire to be a director and later watched three of his short films, one of which featured a serial killer, ultimately confirming to the writer that the actor had a darker side. The actor also has plans to direct a film version of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In late 2013 Franco starred in This is the End as a fictionalized version of himself stuck in a house with Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, also fictionalized versions of themselves, when the Apocalypse happens.

In February 2012, Franco began shooting a film version of Cormac McCarthy's 1973 novella Child of God, which stars Scott Haze as Lester Ballard. The film chronicles the depraved and violent impulses of the young Tennessee backwoodsman after he is dispossessed of his ancestral land. Child of God was selected in official competition at the 70th Venice Film Festival, an official selection to the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and an official selection to the prestigious 51st New York Film Festival. He is set to star alongside fellow Oscar nominee Jonah Hill and producer Brad Pitt in the upcoming film titled True Story. The film, which is based on a true story, will see Franco play Christian Longo, a man who was on the FBI's most wanted list for murdering his wife and three children in Oregon, and who had also been hiding under the identity of Michael Finkel, a journalist played by Hill. In 2013, Franco starred as the gangster "Alien" in Harmony Korine'sSpring Breakers, with Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Gucci Mane and Rachel Korine. A24 films began a campaign in September 2013 in support of a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Franco's performance.

In March 2013, it was announced that Franco was set to make his Broadway stage debut in the role of George in a revival of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

In February 2014, Franco was announced as the director and co-producer for the film adaptation of actor Greg Sestero's non-fiction book, The Disaster Artist.

In April 2014, Franco directed and appeared in “Techno Color Sunglasses,” a video which promotes the Guici's eyewear collection. He appeared with Natalia Bonifacci and the setting was Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont hotel.

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