American actor, professor, screenwriter, producer, and author.
James Edward Franco was born on April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California to parents, Doug Franco and Betsy Levine. He is the oldest of three brothers. Franco attended Palo Alto High School where he developed a reputation for the being the school rebel. Eventually he turned around and began getting good grades.
After high school he attended the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996 to study English and drama but dropped out his freshman year to become an actor. He’d work the late shift at McDonalds while auditioning. At 19 years old he landed his first major role as Brian in the drama, “Pacific Blue.”
Franco studied at the North Hollywood acting school/theater with drama coach Robert Carnegie for 15 months when he landed the role of Daniel Demario in 1999 on the show “Freaks and Geeks.” Although the show had a short run it developed a cult following.
That same year Franco starred in “Never Been Kissed” alongside Drew Barrymore and in 2000 he starred in the movie, “Whatever it Takes.”
Franco began earning critical acclaim with his role in the TNT biopic, “James Dean” which earned him a Golden Globe Award for best actor in 2002.
After several years of acting, Franco co-wrote the film “Ape” in 2005 and directed several short films such as, “The Feast of Stephen,” and “Herbert White.” He later went on to star in the movie “Flyboys” in 2006 which he obtained his pilot license for. In 2008 he appeared in “Nights in Rodanthe” with Richard Gere and Diane Lane. He then went on to star alongside Sean Penn in the movie, “Milk.”
After appearing in countless films and projects, it was his performance in the drama, “127 hours” that earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor in 2010. He then went on to star in movies such as, “Date Night,” “Your Highness,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Spring Breakers,” and “The Little Prince.” He’s also made appearances on the small screen in shows like “General Hospital,” and “The Mindy Project.”
While acting Franco also returned to school in 2006 at UCLA studying creative writing. He completed his degree in two years with a 3.5/4 GPA. In 2008 he enrolled in Columbia University in New York where he worked on a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in creative writing. At the same time he also took took courses in filmmaking at New York’s Tisch College of the Arts, courses in fiction at Brooklyn College and studied poetry at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
In 2006, Franco took to painting in while attending the California State Summer School for the Arts and he showed off his work at Glu Gallery in Los Angeles.
A few years later in 2010 Franco enrolled in Yale University and is currently working towards a Ph.D in English. That same year he earned his M.F.A from Columbia and in 2011 completed a master’s degree in filmmaking at NYU. He also enrolled in Rhode Island School of Design.
In continuing with education, Franco has taught at USC, UCLA, CalArts, and NYU in film and in English. He’s helped his students work with actors such as Seth MacFarlane, Kate Mara, Natalie Portman among others.
James Franco Commercial
James Franco Actor and Teacher
Nights in Rodanthe
Whatever it Takes
- To prepare for his role in the biopic, “James Dean,” Franco smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.
- Franco became the face of Gucci in 2008.
- The actor received a Hollywood star on the Walk of Fame in 2013.
- He was arrested for underage drinking and high school and got in trouble for stealing high end perfumes and doing graffiti.
- Franco was a vegetarian before he began working in McDonalds.
- James’ mother is half Jewish and Russian. His father is half Portuguese and Swedish.
- He would practice different accents on customers when he worked in McDonalds.
|acting||Freaks and Geeks||1999-2000|
|acting||Never Been Kissed||1999|
|acting||Whatever it Takes||2000|
|acting||Nights in Rodanthe||2008|