BY ADRIANA FLORIDIA
James Franco, who is appearing in the porn star biopic Lovelace this month, is notorious. Whether it be from “allegedly” being stoned while hosting the Oscars, claiming to have rejected sleeping with Lindsay Lohan, writing bizarre novels, taking classes at Yale, or being too damn busy starring in every movie possible, James Franco has become a character himself. But also has proven that he can portray some pretty kooky alter-egos on film. Let’s break down some of his best performances.
5. Aron Ralston, 127 Hours
Franco portrayed real life adventure man Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s survival drama, and deservedly earned an Oscar nomination for doing so. The film is famous for its honest and gruesome scene in which Aron is forced to cut off his arm in order free himself from a large boulder while mountain climbing in Utah. Reports of fainting audience members scared people off of this film, but it is more than the shock value. Franco carries this film completely on his own, creating a character who is lonely and full of regret, but who will go to lengths to survive.
4. Harry Osborn, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy
The first place most people noticed this heartthrob was in a supporting role as Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn. The character of Harry was at times loveable, later despicable, and eventually just plain evil. But Franco had the charm and charisma it took to pull off the descent of Harry Osborn from rich kid outcast, all the way to putting on that Green Goblin suit. We will always hate him for taking Mary Jane away from Peter, but he still managed to win our hearts when his fate turned for the worst.
3. James Franco, This is the End
It takes a lot of guts to play yourself on screen, and the whole cast of This is the End did not hold back. The film, which allowed actors such asFranco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel to poke fun at themselves, made for a hilarious ride simply because these actors knew just how to heighten their flaws.
The Franco seen in This is the End is pretentious, selfish and obsessed with anything and everything he has ever done in his career. He keeps all of his old props, decorates his home with strange art, and is kind of in love with Rogen. According to the real Rogen, Franco was the only cast member who would do or say anything they asked him to. He truly knows no limits.
2. Saul Silver, Pineapple Express
Playing the most lovable drug dealer you could ever imagine, Franco truly showed his comedic side in Pineapple Express. Having done mostly dramatic work after Freaks and Geeks, Franco returned to form as Saul Silver, the ultimate stoner (a.k.a a man who does nothing but smoke weed and watch TV all day), and changed the perception of your typical drug dealer in film. The result is a hilarious buddy comedy and the new beginning of the epic bromance between Franco and Rogen.
1. Alien, Spring Breakers
Barely recognizable in corn rows and grillz, Franco balances comedy and creepiness as ultimate gangster Alien, a rapper and drug and weapon runner caught in a war with a rival dealer (who also happens to be his former best friend). His performance in Spring Breakers seems simple on the surface, but it as a very layered and intricate role. His scene with Selena Gomez is nothing short of chilling, but then his “Look at my shit!” outburst is one of the funniest scenes a film has had this year. This film has already reached cult status, and it is solely because of Franco’s performance that it is enjoyable by the minute.