James Franco Writes Books in his Spare Time

Karina Longworth of The Slate Book Review has published an article with the title “Why do people get so angry when James Franco writes books?” I have an answer for this question, actually. It’s because they’re terrible people who have no hearts or souls. I have a question for those who are angry with James Franco for writing a book: how can you get angry at this face?

James_Franco_2007_Spiderman_3_premiere

Or this one?

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I think you get the idea, but just in case you don’t, here’s another:

James_Franco_Venice_Film_Festival_2013

He’s an incredible actor, able to play multiple, diverse roles. He’s not just drama or just comedy or just chick flick–he’s everything. (I kind of love him/am in love with him, if you couldn’t tell). I remember seeing a video Esquire filmed in which James’ younger brother, Dave, interviewed him; the video gives a brief glimpse into the life of James, who has a problem most people do not have, which is that James Franco is unable to relax. He doesn’t waste time watching television or goofing around on the internet because it is unproductive. He’s constantly doing something, and he’s been like that his entire life. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

James: Don’t you feel like you have stuff to do?

Dave: When I have stuff to do I’ll get up.

James: Don’t you feel like there’s always stuff to do?

Dave: No that’s you, that’s you being crazy always needing to do something. You always used to pass out on the couch at our apartment so I took over the master bedroom because you said you never liked to go into bed because it was like admitting failure. And so, you only pass out when you physically cannot stay awake another moment.

Because of this “problem” combined with his creative abilities, James has become very successful in not just acting, but also directing, studying at various universities, and, more recently, writing. His latest novel, Actors Anonymous is a book I want to read without even knowing what it is about. Sure, as an avid reader and book lover this seems a little ridiculous, but when you love someone, you don’t question him or her. Am I right? OK, jokes aside, the book description actually sounds intriguing.

As though James Franco has kept a journal throughout his life as an actor, the book is written like notes in a notebook. He writes about the struggle for work as an actor deriving from the desperation for a life of glamor. Longworth says, “…the title evokes acting as both a kind of horrible dissociative personality psychosis, and a secret club—a projection point for desire and envy.” Sometimes Franco writes in first person as himself, and sometimes he writes as a character referred to as “the actor.” The book also has one first person chapter in the viewpoint of a female NYU student who is proudly de-virginized by James Franco.

What raises my intrigue about Actors Anonymous is that it is a glimpse into the world of acting from a famous actor’s point of view. It is his take on what that world is like, whether at all true or not; it is what he wants his readers to know about the acting community and profession.

Here’s another excerpt from the interview with his brother:

Dave: It seems like you’re always kind of wanting to be doing something.

James: Do you think I have a problem?

Dave: I don’t know if it’s a problem just because it’s like admirable to be able to be doing everything that you’re doing.

James: Why do you think I do that?

Dave: I don’t know! I wonder if you do enjoy sitting around and doing absolutely nothing except watching tv every once in a while?

James: Like watch what?

Dave:  Watch anything you want! When’s the last time you weren’t working on something, just sitting there and doing nothing?

James: What’s that mean?

The fact that Franco managed to find the time to write a 285-page book is impressive. I think all of the haters are merely jealous of his ability to be able to produce a book while he is having an incredibly successful career as an actor. Can we all just be happy for him?

Do you want to read his book? If so, why? If not, why not? I’m curious. Please share below in the comments.

– Allison Bellows

Allison Bellows

Allison Bellows

Allison has loved reading and writing since she was a kid. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Southern California, working on both her MA in teaching and her secondary English teaching credential. Her favorite genres to read are suspense/thrillers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, mysteries like And Then There Were None and The Cuckoo's Calling, and the average romance like Outlander. Even cheesy books like The Fault in Our Stars now and then, for a good cry.
Allison Bellows

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Comments

  1. David Antony

    I respect that Franco wants to pursue writing. Personally, though, I’m not crazy about his artistic voice. I read a short story of his in a magazine a few years ago and wasn’t too impressed.

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