James (I) Franco filmography and biography
Date of birth: 19 April 1978, Palo Alto, California, USA
James (I) Franco biography
Best known for his breakthrough starring role on
Freaks and Geeks, James Franco was born in Palo Alto,
California on April 19, 1978. Growing up with his two younger brothers,
James graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1996 and went on to
attend UCLA, majoring in English. To overcome his shyness, he got into
acting while studying there, which, much to his parents' dismay, he
left after only one year. After fifteen months of intensive study at
Robert Carnegie's Playhouse West, James began actively pursuing his
dream of finding work as an actor in Hollywood. In that short time, he
landed himself a starring role on Freaks and Geeks. The
show, however, was not a hit to its viewers at the time, and was
canceled after its first year. Now, it has become a cult-hit. Prior to
joining Freaks and Geeks, Franco starred in the TV
miniseries To Serve and Protect (1999) (TV). After that, he had
a starring role in Whatever It Takes.
Although he'd been working steadily, it wasn't until the TNT made-for-television movie, James Dean (2001) (TV) that James rose to fan-magazine fame and got to show off his talent. Since then, he has been working non-stop. After losing the lead role to Tobey Maguire, James settled for the part of "Harry Osborne", Spider-Man's best friend in the summer 2002 major hit Spider-Man. He returned to the Osborne role for the next two films in the trilogy.
Next was Deuces Wild and City by the Sea, in which Robert De Niro personally had him cast, after viewing his performance in James Dean (2001) (TV). He was recently seen in David Gordon Green's Pineapple Express opposite Seth Rogen, in George C. Wolfe's Nights in Rodanthe, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane (I) and in Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah, starring Tommy Lee Jones. Also starring opposite Sean Penn (I) in Gus Van Sant's Milk (2008/I) in which his performance earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor. Definitely growing out of his shyness, James Franco is turning into a legend of his own.
James (I) Franco trivia
- Auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man, but was given the part of Harry Osborn.
- James appeared in two movies that premiered on the same day, Deuces Wild and Spider-Man, both opening on May 3rd. The success of the two films was highly varied as Spider-Man film has to date amassed a box office gross some 67 times greater than that of Deuces.
- He has two younger brothers, Tom and Dave Franco.
- His parents are Betsy & Doug Franco
- In his spare time he likes to paint
- Was named one of People Magazine's 50 Hottest Bachelors 
- Has his own production company - Rabbit Bandini Productions.
- Went by the name of Ted in high school and was voted "Best Smile" at Palo Alto High School
- Shares a birthday with Hayden Christensen.
- Was named one of Salon.com's "10 men who might just inspire the rebirth of Jewish male cool."
- Although he always hated it, he started smoking for his lead role in James Dean (2001) (TV).
- Is of Portuguese and Swedish heritage on his father's side, and of Russian Jewish heritage on his mother's side.
- Worked with stunt coordinator Nick Powell (I) in two movies both premiering in 2006: Tristan + Isolde and Annapolis.
- Close friends with Tobey Maguire. He also used to "babysit" Tobey's daughter on the set of Spider-Man 3.
- His first overseas trip was to Australia to film The Great Raid.
- His grandmother, Mitzie Verne, is an artist.
- Is friends with Busy Philipps, who he met on the set of Freaks and Geeks.
- (2000-2004) In a relationship with Marla Sokoloff. They met on the set of Whatever It Takes.
- Franco told interviewer Terry Gross (II) that when he was in junior high school, he was arrested for shoplifting cologne from a department store and reselling it with his friends at the school. He noted to Gross the irony that, in 2008, he shot an advertising campaign in which he became the face of Gucci cologne.
- While a guest on her NPR program "Fresh Air", Franco told interviewer Terry Gross (II) that when he went back to UCLA to finish his undergraduate degree in creative writing, he was worried that his classmates and professors might think of him as "sliding by" because of his acting career, so he took a lot of extra courses to make sure they knew he was serious. He told Gross that the cap on the number of units that a student is allowed to take in a quarter was 19, but in his last quarter he took 62 units - which as far as he knows is a record for a single student.
- Studied acting with Ivana Chubbuck, whose students include stars such as Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Elisabeth Shue, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Anne Moss (I), Djimon Hounsou, Garry Shandling and Jon Voight.
- In a relationship with actress, 'Ahna OReilly (2006 - present).
- In 2009, he reunited with his Deuces Wild co-star, Ronnie Marmo, on General Hospital.
- Franco's Creative Writing professors have included writers such as Mona Simpson, Jonathan Lethem, Gary Shteyngart, Amy Hempel, and Michael Cunningham.
- Chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the "The 40 Most Handsome Hollywood Men"(#1).
James (I) Franco quotes
- [About painting] "I needed an outlet in high school and came across painting. I've actually been painting longer than I've been acting. A movie is a collaborative effort, and with painting you just have yourself."
- [About finding time to relax] "Never. It's an impossibility. I don't even like to sleep. I feel as if there's too much to do."
- [About what he looks for in a girl] "Just someone I can relate to artistically and who can also be understanding and supportive of the demands of my lifestyle."
- When I was a child, I wanted to be an actor, but I had really bad buck teeth. I didn't want to get braces, but my mom said I couldn't be an actor if I didn't get the braces. So, I got the braces.
- I worked at a McDonald's drive-through. I could always tell when girls were interested: They'd drive around again and say, "I forgot something."
- "Acting is an art form and you want to take roles that are challenged and it's more of a challenge I think to play dark characters. Not that I want to always play those, but it is a challenge and challenges are rewarding and fun."
- "You know, directors kind of want different things. Some of them think that if they just are always talking to you and keeping your spirits up and everything that it helps you, and then some leave you alone and give you your space."