BATD ON Aug 05, 2010 AT 11:15 am
We all realised that James Franco was both gorgeous and talented from the moment that we saw him as James Dean in TNT’s 2001 made-for-TV movie – he bore a striking resemblance to the 1950’s pop culture icon. But recently, there’s been a lot of hype surrounding the actor, and not just because of his upcoming roles in Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Apes. Franco’s also been balancing four graduate programs along with all of his acting projects!
Born in Palo Alto, California, the 32-year-old actor attended UCLA to study English, but dropped out after only one year to pursue a career in acting. In 1999, he landed his break-out role as bad boy Daniel Desario in Judd Apatow’s cult TV series Freaks and Geeks. Soon to follow was a role in the Spiderman film franchise as Peter Parker’s best friend, Harry Osborn. Franco also landed a role in the 2002 film City by the Sea as Robert De Niro’s drug addict son – De Niro personally had Franco cast in the film after seeing his performance in James Dean – and in 2006 he starred in the tragic romance Tristan and Isolde.
At the age of 28, Franco returned to UCLA to earn his degree in English. Shortly after, in 2008, Franco earned a lot of attention for both his role in the stoner-flick Pineapple Express opposite fellow Freaks and Geeks star Seth Rogan and his part as Harvey Milk’s long-term boyfriend in the film Milk, for which he earned an Independent Spirit Award. He also became the face of Gucci’s new fragrance that year.
Franco has currently placed a lot of focus on his graduate school studies. He is enrolled in NYU’s film-making program, both Columbia and Brooklyn college for fiction writing, and Warren Wilson College in North Carolina for poetry. He is soon to be headed to Yale to work toward his Ph.D. in English. His short story, “Just Before the Black” was published in Esquire, and a book of his fiction is to be published in October by Scribner.
Eat, Pray, Love is set to be released in the UK on September 24th, and Franco is currently filming both Rise of the Apes and Slumdog Millionare director Danny Boyle’s new film, 127 Hours. He has also recently appeared in the Gucci Sport ad campaign. And he still has time for a girlfriend, 25-year-old actress Ahna O’Reilly. The couple has been dating for five years.
With brains, a knack for acting, and a chiselled face, it would seem that Franco is the total package!