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Posted at 10:18 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

James Franco: A peek inside the buzziest actor of 2010's mind

By Liz Kelly

It was back in 1999 when we first met a young James Franco. And by "met" I mean, of course, first saw him and fell head over heels for his "Freaks and Geeks" character, Daniel Desario -- the rebel with a heart of gold. He was the thinking woman's Jordan Catalano. A Dylan Walsh, hold the cheese. In a word, he was perfect.

A little more than a decade later and Franco, now all of 32, has quietly become the most talked-about man in showbiz. He's generating Oscar buzz for his portrayal of trapped (we'll leave it at that) hiker Aron Ralston in "127 Hours." He appeared in a brilliantly over-acted "General Hospital" story arc -- a genre that most "serious actors" would avoid like the plague. And speaking of things serious actors would sidestep, Franco also appeared in drag on the cover of Candy magazine earlier this year. He took on four graduate writing programs at once. He's signed on to co-host the Oscars with Anne Hathaway.

And Tuesday night -- in a must DVR appearance -- Franco will appear on "Inside the Actor's Studio" to talk with James Lipton about his career, his approach to acting and how he's managed to carve out an unconventional, yet growing, niche in the entertainment world.

Here, Franco talks about how he pushed past Danny Boyle's fears that he was stoned at their first meeting to land the role of Aron Ralston in "127 Hours":

>> For more on "127 Hours" read Jen's Q&A with Danny Boyle.

After the jump, more clips from tonight's show ...

On how he ended up playing the stoner in 2008's "Pineapple Express" ...


On landing the role of Scott Smith in 2008's "Milk" ...

And, bonus -- a few of our favorite Franco moments on film ...

>> From "Freaks and Geeks," Daniel Desario sits in on a game of Dungeons & Dragons:

>> From "General Hospital," Franco weirds us out:

>> From "Pineapple Express," Franco as a paranoid drug dealer (some NSFW language):

>> From "SNL," Franco's 2009 monologue:

Related:
James Franco takes on cultural juggernaut "Three's Company"

GQ appreciates men, too, and not one of them is Ryan Reynolds

By Liz Kelly  | December 7, 2010; 10:18 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  | Tags:  James Franco  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wesley Snipes to spend holidays behind bars; Kim Kardashian denies pregnancy rumor
Next: Christian Bale's long hair -- love it or hate it?

Comments

I've never understood Franco's appeal, personally - and my mild "meh" feeling about him shifted into dislike when I read that god-awful short story he wrote for Esquire (I think?) last spring. People seem to love him, though. If you listen to Terry Gross's interview, she can't stop gushing.

Posted by: themegnapkin | December 7, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

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