At this point it’s common knowledge that James Franco is a total weirdo. We’ve been finding out lately that he also might be a huge creeper on top of that. It’s pretty common in interviews with his co-stars and friends or family for the interviewers to basically ask, “Hey, what the eff is up with James Franco, dude?”
Last night alone, two separate acquaintances on two separate late night shows talked about James, so I thought I’d share those comments, as well as a few other quotes from people who know James Franco well enough to comment truthfully on his weirdness. There seems to be a bit of a formula to their answers where they start out being like, “Yeah man, there’s something wrong with him,” but end up saying, “But he’s like totally a genius and he’s not as weird as he seems.” Sure, we all believe that.
1. Dave Franco
On his brother’s naked selfie: “Compared to, like, some of the other weird things he’s doing, this seems like kind of a refined act.”
Last night Conan asked James’ little brother Dave to please explain what the hell was going on with that naked selfie James posted recently. Dave admitted he doesn’t have social media so found out about it after the fact, but he actually thinks it’s one of the least weird things James has done. And I guess he should know.
2. Seth Rogen
On why James paints him naked: “I don’t know, honestly, and I saw him the other day and I didn’t ask him ’cause I honestly was afraid of what the answer might be. I just avoided talking to him about it. It’s a little bizarre but ultimately complimentary, I would say.”
Also last night, James’ BFF Seth was asked by Jimmy Fallon about the recent paintings James has shared depicting Seth naked. The fact that Seth didn’t even bother mentioning it to him shows how accustomed he’s gotten to the weirdness. “Oh you’re painting me naked and posting it online? What else is new?”
3. Seth Rogen again
On if he’s surprised by the paintings: “I wish I could say I was. But there’s a point where you just stop being surprised, and you’re just like, yeah that’s what James likes to do. I don’t even ask him about it, honestly.”
The subject of the paintings came up again on the Today show this morning, when Matt Lauer asked if Seth was surprised to see them posted. I don’t think any of us were surprised to them posted, but I still love the fact that Seth has just come to expect it.
4. Jonah Hill
On the mural he painted for This is the End: “I think James sees me as a grave robber from the 1400s who’s now a ghost. He’s like ‘Do you like the mural?’ and I’m like, ‘It’s awesome!’ Maybe he’s blind, I don’t know. No, he’s such a talented artist, and I was all for it. I thought it was cool, but when I see it I’m just like, I should get a tan or something.”
Here’s a classic example of the “Shit, I just said James is weird, I have to backtrack and make him sound really talented” response. Jonah gives a hilarious description of how James painted him for this horrifying mural, but then tries to make it sound complimentary. It’s okay, Jonah. We know it’s crap.
5. Selena Gomez
On his role in Spring Breakers: “He really committed to this character, and when he walked on set he was in it the entire time. I don’t even think I really got to know James Franco. I just got to know Alien. Which creeped me out, but it was cool.”
The phrase “which creeped me out, but it was cool” isn’t really something you hear every day, as creepy and cool don’t always go together unless you’re watching a particularly interesting horror movie. Is that what James Franco is? A living, breathing interesting horror movie?
6. Mila Kunis
On his multitasking habit: “You wanna call it drive? That’s nice. I’ll call it like sadism. He is one of the most driven human beings on the planet, and I think that if he were to have to stand still he wouldn’t know what to do with himself.”
Mila says she’s known James for years and his multitasking is just what she’s come to expect from him. Her response when the interviewer says he has “drive” is priceless.
7. Bill Hader
On meeting James for the first time: “The first time I met James Franco, he was dressed like James Dean. He was James Dean, literally, filming a biopic. I was working as a production assistant. I remember walking over to him on set. “Do you want anything to eat?” I asked. And he said in perfect cadence, without an instant of hesitation, “I’m all right, maaiin.” He didn’t break character for the entire production, anywhere at any time on set. He lived on PB&J, Red Bull, and packs of cigarettes. We didn’t talk. I just made him PB&J. I left James Dean alone.”
Bill’s relationship with James is actually pretty interesting, because he happened to be a PA or actor on a few movies James starred in. But I can’t get over this account of their very first encounter. We all know he likes to stay in character, but the PB&J detail is just ridiculous. (The video up there is Bill’s contribution to James’ roast, which doesn’t contain this quote but is great nonetheless.)
8. Natasha Leggero
On his multitasking: “James Franco, acting, teaching, directing, writing, producing, photography, soundtracks, editing — is there anything you can do?”
So this was part of James’ roast and not an interview about knowing him, but I just had to include it because it’s just too good. That entire joke should be James’ legal middle name.