James Edward Franco (born April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, teacher, author and poet.
His first prominent role was as Daniel Desario on the short-lived Cult Classic TV series Freaks and Geeks. He later achieved recognition for playing the title role in a made-for-TV biopic about James Dean in 2001 (for which he won a Golden Globe Award), and for playing Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy. He is also known for his roles in the films Pineapple Express, Milk, 127 Hours (for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers, and This Is the End. He also had a recurring role in the ABC Soap Opera General Hospital for several years.
Franco volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity and has taught courses at New York University (feature filmmaking and production), the University of Southern California (short film production), and his alma mater, the University of California, Los Angeles (screenwriting). He is a PhD candidate at Yale University.
In 2017, he directed and starred in The Disaster Artist, based on Greg Sestero's book of the same name chronicling the infamous production of Tommy Wiseau's The Room (2003). Following a Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Wiseau, accusations of sexual misconduct against Franco began surfacing on social media in January 2018.
His younger brothers, Tom and Dave, are also actors.
Works he has appeared in:
- Whatever It Takes (2000)
- James Dean (2001)
- Sonny (2002)
- Spider-Man Trilogy (2002–07)
- The Company (2003)
- The Great Raid (2005)
- Tristan and Isolde (2006)
- Annapolis (2006)
- The Wicker Man (2006)
- Flyboys (2006)
- The Dead Girl (2006)
- The Holiday (2006)
- Knocked Up (2007)
- In the Valley of Elah (2007)
- An American Crime (2007)
- Pineapple Express (2008)
- Milk (2008)
- Date Night (2010)
- Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
- Howl (2010)
- 127 Hours (2010)
- The Green Hornet (2011)
- Your Highness (2011)
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
- The Iceman (2012)
- Spring Breakers (2012)
- Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
- This Is the End (2013)
- Lovelace (2013)
- As I Lay Dying (2013; also director and co-writer)
- Veronica Mars (2014) (cameo)
- The Interview (2014)
- The Sound and the Fury (2014; also director)
- True Story (2015)
- The Night Before (2015)
- The Little Prince (2015)
- 11.22.63 (2016)
- In Dubious Battle (2016; also director)
- Sausage Party (2016)
- Why Him? (2016)
- Alien: Covenant (2017)
- The Disaster Artist (2017; also director)
- Kin (2018)
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
- Future World (2018; also director)
- The Cameo: Done this several times, usually As Himself.
- Descended Creator: Appeared in various films that he directed, wrote and produced.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Often plays Heterosexual Life-Partners with Seth Rogen in many works, including This Is The End, Pineapple Express, and The Interview. Doubles as a Production Posse. However, following the allegations of sexual misconduct, Seth Rogen has since cut ties with Franco.
- Old Shame: He hated Your Highness and even made fun of it in This Is the End.
- Production Posse: Appears on-screen together with Seth Rogen quite often. They usually play Heterosexual Life-Partners.
- Real-Life Relative: His mother Betsy Franco also played his character's mother on General Hospital.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: When playing opposite Seth Rogen, he tends to play the unrestrained party animal red oni.
- The Stoner: Played these in Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and Sausage Party.
- What Could Have Been: He auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man, but was given the part of Harry Osborn.