Franco is on Probation, Audits New Movie


It’s no secret that James Franco is one of the busiest men in the business. From  taking and teaching college classes to films and voiceovers and fine art, to divining the spirit of Tennessee Williams, Franco marches to the beat of every single drum. But can one man do it all? Here’s what’s new on Franco-Watch.

After receiving his first barely-passing grade at New York University and getting a professor fired in the process, Franco’s dedication as a student has been called into question. Fortunately, R. John Williams, a Yale English professor who served as Franco’s advisor for a directed study course on film language, wrote into Slate to defend him. So, who is Franco the student? Well, aside from the whole Hollywood movie star thing, Williams found Franco a willing and accommodating student, making video-conference calls to discuss his work, never missing a meeting, and allowing Williams and another student to visit him on set. Franco’s effortlessness at managing student and acting roles leads Williams to the obvious question: “Why aren’t more Hollywood actors earning Ph.D’s?” Your move, Elle Fanning.

Speaking of being on set, it’s a pleasant surprise to hear that Franco’s in talks to appear as a young Hugh Hefner in the upcoming Linda Lovelace bio pic. If he joins the cast, which already boasts Amanda Seyfried, Hank Azaria, and Peter Sarsgaard, we may actually wait in line on opening night. Franco would be expected to be on set only for a day, but what a day!