Franco With a Haircut

As that Pineapple Express Oscar short proved, James Franco‘s stoner character is one of the great comic incarnations of our time. He was so euphorically good as “Saul Silver” in Pineapple Express that it’s a little hard to come to terms with the idea of Franco performing in a dramatically straight, soulful and sincere vein.

Nonetheless, a straight, soulful and sincere Franco will be giving a Word Theatre performance this Sunday at Manhattan’s Soho House from 3 to 5 pm. I’ve attended several Word Theatre readings and remain a big fan. I love being part of that Word Theatre atmosphere, which is basically a classy literary salon-type deal.

I’d actually like to attend this Sunday’s thing — it’s only $25 a pop — and maybe bring my ex-wife along but there are complications. Don’t ask.

Franco will host and read from a new story by Jim Shepard. Julianna Margulies (Ghost Ship) will read a story by Amy Hempel. And Lynn Whitfield (Stepmom, Head of State) will read a story by John Edgar Wideman.

Just understand that Franco will not be wearing a hippie wig, love beads, a tie-dyed T-shirt, bell-bottoms or sandals. I for one would love to see him read the Shepard story like Saul would read it — stumbling here and there, giggling, mispronouncing this and that name, improvising, etc. But that wouldn’t be fair to Shepard, I suppose. Although it would be fine with me.

  • gradystiles

    “it’s a little hard to come to terms with the idea of Franco performing in a dramatically straight, soulful and sincere vein.”

    Seems like he got a pretty good reception from critics based on his performance in MILK.

  • Sabina E

    It’s not hard for ME to imagine him performing in something dramatic, because I first caught him on FREAKS AND GEEKS, and ever since then, I’ve been following his career closely.

    Franco is awesome, and I hope he’ll be acting for a long time to come.

  • actionman

    I never liked Franco until Pineapple. He was brilliant in that film. Other than that, I have found him to be average-to-horrendous in everything else.

  • Mark

    in agreement. he may try, but i don’t think he’ll be getting any more Milk-type roles. Remember when he questioned the number of people who showed up to Harvey’s funeral? I kept waiting for him to start giggling.

    Like Vince Vaughn and Paul Rudd before him, the people have spoken, the walls are closing in on him fast, and it’s pretty much comedies from here on out.

  • /3rtfu11

    Take a picture.

    I have found him to be average-to-horrendous in everything else

    He only sucked in those Spiderman movies which were crap to me to begin with. No fault of his own.

  • /3rtfu11

    Take a picture of him at the event.

  • bildeaux

    Is that a dig at Julianna Margulies listing her only credit as Ghost Ship? :)

  • scooterzz

    a favorite franco piece:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WASxvKH1SQg

    sorry, if you’ve already seen it….

  • Abbey Normal

    After listening to him hilariously butcher the pronunciation of “Spielzeugland” at the Oscars, “word theater” seems redundant.

  • actionman

    /3rtfu11 — he was awful in the Spiderman films, he was atrocious in Annapolis, he was beyond wooden in Tristan and Isolde, he was terrible in The Great Raid and Flyboys.

    He was hysterical in Pineapple and he was surprisingly effective in Milk. Other than those two, he hasn’t done much on the big screen to warrant a lot of praise.

  • Krazy Eyes

    Those Acting With James Franco clips at Funny or Die are still my favorite thing he’s done.

  • Mark

    actionman deserves praise for knowing so many synanyms of awful off hand.

    btw, the difference between the level of director between his “good” acting movies and “awful” ones should be plenty apparent.

  • KC

    Come on, Franco is actually by far the best thing about Spiderman 3

  • Jonah

    Franco was great in Freaks and Geeks, The James Dean TV movie, Pineapple Express, and Milk.

    Flyboys? Tristan and Isolde? Annapolis? Did you actually see them? They were all around terrible. Anybody would’ve been bad in them.

  • DeafBrownTrashPunk

    It’s not hard for ME to imagine him performing in something dramatic, because I first caught him on FREAKS AND GEEKS, and ever since then, I’ve been following his career closely.

    Franco is awesome, and I hope he’ll be acting for a long time to come.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    Is Julianna Margulies going to be giving hand jobs after the show for an extra $25 a pop?

    Sorry, sorry…but she did list Ghost Ship like it was a credit and not a debit. Good God.

  • actionman

    markj — u should get something special for not knowing how to spell the word “synonyms”

    and Jonah — I saw about 25-30 mins each of Tristan, Annapolis, and Flyboys. The movies were horrendous and Franco was flat-out terrible in each. He fared only a bit better in City by the Sea and The Great Raid, but on those, yes Mark, the directors were better. I still haven’t seen Sonny.

    however, his work in Pineapple vindicates him of all of his previous cinematic slip-ups. and yes, he was good in the dean biopic.

  • Dan Revill

    The Acting with James Dean shorts are awesome. I love the cat rebuttal with his mom though. No-nonsense and quite humourous.

  • Aladdin Sane

    The Acting with James Dean shorts are awesome. I love the cat rebuttal with his mom though. No-nonsense and quite humourous.

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