Last month I had no idea who James Franco was. This story starts at BAR in New Haven, where I was happily having a red, mozz, broccoli and artichoke pizza. In conversation, a friend said “well at least you are not James Franco and people tweet about where you are. – He left XYZ at noon.” I looked at him curiously. Who is James Franco I thought to myself. He is probably some important political person and not wanting to seem too stupid, I just kept my mouth shut. Not thirty minutes later, I was in a new conversation with three women and again this James Franco character is mentioned as if all should know who he is. Did we get a new Vice President or something? I finally had to ask. “Who is James Franco? This is the second time I have heard about him tonight!” They looked at me as if I was absolutely crazy (exactly what I wanted to avoid). “An Actor” they all quickly replied and then started to list off his movies.
I would like to blame the fact that I have been out of the US for four months, but in addition, I do not watch TV, I don’t read magazines and while I do love movies, I don’t pay much attention to the actors “real lives”. Each film I watch I get engrossed in the story and character development – I want to suspend my disbelief for those two hours and feel for that character – so the “real life” of the person delivering the story seems irrelevant to me. Luckily, I have an iPhone (which I love) and I googled “James Franco”. The Wikipedia entry for this man reads as follows…
“…. Franco reportedly has “an unusually high metabolism for productivity…a superhuman ability to focus”. Dissatisfied with his career’s direction, Franco reenrolled at UCLA in the fall of 2006 as an English major with a creative writing concentration. Having received permission to take as many as 62 course credits per quarter compared to the normal limit of 19 while continuing to act, he received his undergraduate degree in June 2008 with a GPA over 3.5….”
Really? 62 course credits per quarter compared to the normal limit of 19?
It then reads…
“…For his degree, Franco prepared his departmental honors thesis as a novel under the supervision of Mona Simpson. He moved to New York to simultaneously attend graduate school at Columbia University’s MFA writing program, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for filmmaking, and Brooklyn College for fiction writing, while occasionally commuting to North Carolina’s Warren Wilson College for poetry. He received his MFA from Columbia in 2010. Franco is a Ph.D. student in English at Yale University and will also attend the Rhode Island School of Design….”
Now I have been back in the US for a little over a month and “James Franco” seems to be household name. While acting and such, I suppose is interesting, I find the quest for knowledge and self betterment to be inspiring and utterly fantastic. People say James Franco is quirky; I like quirky. If his Wikipedia entry is in fact true, then James Franco makes me happy. I think we should meet and have tea. I suggest Japanese Matcha. So James, when you are running around New Haven and you have a free moment, the tea will be on me.
My suggestion: Learn something new today 🙂