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James Franco writes about the art of acting and the value of soap operas

06.22.2010

In between showcasing his chiseled features and surprising comic timing, James Franco enjoys waxing philosophical about working in "the biz".

In an essay called "The Limits of Control" over at Lapham's Quarterly, the future ape-fighter addresses the perception of actors and how performances and people should be differentiated.

An excerpt: I suppose one could look at an actor’s entire career and derive some enduring qualities of the person. But what if an actor was only cast in awful roles? What if we only had John Casavettes the actor and not the director? The actor Cassevetes was an entertaining and wily persona in movies like Rosemary’s Baby or The Dirty Dozen, but the wild, sexual, passionate intelligence that Cassevetes brought to the performances in his own films was something entirely different, derived from the freedom that comes with control. So an actor is his roles and he isn’t.

Franco also defends his stint on soap operas: The soap opera performance should always be perceived in context: it involves actors working in a tradition that soap audiences have come to expect and love. Soap actors are delivering exactly what they are supposed to—they are in tune with their audience and they are not attempting to transcend it. If Brando had tried to play Terry Malloy in a soap, he wouldn’t have had the time to sculpt the performance into the brooding, tortured, nuanced emotional force that won him an Oscar. The contender wouldn’t have been a somebody, instead he’d just have been another mumbling dope with bad eye makeup.

It's a pretty interesting piece, check out the whole article HERE.

Extra Tidbit: After you read that, check out Franco's amusing entries at Funny or Die.

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3:27AM on 06/23/2010

GAY

Is James Franco GAY?
whats up with his PENIS movies, and art he displays of Spoc and Cpt.Kirk making out????
Is James Franco GAY?
whats up with his PENIS movies, and art he displays of Spoc and Cpt.Kirk making out????
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7:39PM on 06/22/2010
Good man.
Good man.
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1:24PM on 06/22/2010

I freakin love this guy!

Probably my favorite actor. Versatile, talented and unpredictable.
Probably my favorite actor. Versatile, talented and unpredictable.
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4:16AM on 06/22/2010
I agree with him, even though I hate them, soaps can be the stepping stone an actor needs to move on to better things. Plus without Days of our Lives where would Joey Tribiani have found work over ten seasons of friends.
I agree with him, even though I hate them, soaps can be the stepping stone an actor needs to move on to better things. Plus without Days of our Lives where would Joey Tribiani have found work over ten seasons of friends.
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1:25AM on 06/22/2010
Agreed!
Agreed!
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1:09AM on 06/22/2010

His Acting Skits w/his brother are brilliant!

James Franco is probably the most underrated comedic actor there is right now. He got to show some of it in "Pineapple Express" & I heard he was the best part in "Date Night" too, which I haven't seen. If you haven't seen the skits w/his brother they are hilarious. The "Spiderman" one where he just starts throwing things @ his brother is just fantastic. I hope his brother gets some acting gigs in the future.
James Franco is probably the most underrated comedic actor there is right now. He got to show some of it in "Pineapple Express" & I heard he was the best part in "Date Night" too, which I haven't seen. If you haven't seen the skits w/his brother they are hilarious. The "Spiderman" one where he just starts throwing things @ his brother is just fantastic. I hope his brother gets some acting gigs in the future.
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