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James Franco Is Easy on the Eyes but Hard on Himself

James Franco dove right into his latest photo shoot, getting sexy and soaking wet for the September issue of GQ. His comedic performance in Pineapple Express opened to decent reviews, a welcome change of pace for James, who has struggled in his career in the past. In the article, he gets serious about his method acting, his bad reputation, and why everyone just wants to get high with him. Here are highlights:

  • On making bad movies: “I put a lot of time into it. I wanted to be the best actor that I could be. It’s just sad for me, because I know I worked so hard, and I just feel like in some ways I kind of blew it. It’s just hard to get away from what I see as the stain of these bad movies.”
  • On why he didn't get along with some of his Freaks and Geeks costars: “I’ll admit I was not a team player. A lot of it, I think, just had to do with being obnoxious when the camera was on someone else. Maybe I’d eat a banana in the background that would take focus away from other actors. I didn’t think about it that way, but now I could say, ‘Look, the scene’s not about me, it’s about them, just chill out, James. Don’t eat a f*cking banana.’”
  • On how people have responded to Pineapple Express: “Already, I have had people come up to me in cafés and say, ‘Hey, you’re James Franco, right? Hey, I can’t get hold of my guy—do you know where I can buy some good weed?’ Even in class I’ve had someone come up to me and be, ‘Hey! What’s up, man?’ and give me a handshake and palm me a little bag of weed. I haven’t done drugs, I haven’t even smoked pot, since high school.”

To see what else James had to say about locking lips with Sean Penn, just


  • On kissing Sean Penn for the upcoming movie Milk: “It wasn’t twelve hours, but it certainly felt like it. The first kiss of the movie was out on Haight Street, with, like, 200 people watching, outside. It was a crane shot—I’m sure in the end it will be a really cool shot, but it starts close and then it takes maybe a minute. That’s a long time on film with everybody watching and, like, a fake mustache getting in your mouth. It was long enough that you couldn’t help thinking, ‘Oh, my God, I’m kissing Spicoli.’ ”

James's string of bad movies is clearly something that haunts him a bit, but maybe the success of Pineapple Express can help him lighten up.

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