As longtime readers of the site may recall, we have a complicated relationship with modern-day renaissance man James Franco. While we respect his good looks, talent and charisma, we may have also taken a small amount of schadenfreude at his Oscars crash-and-burn and/or not sprinted to the theater to see Your Highness. But we like the guy's life story, and we were way out in front of the hilarious detail that after dropping out of UCLA, the future Green Goblin made ends meet by working the drive-thru at a local McDonald's, where he refined his impressive array of accents. However, as a new interview on The Days Of Yore makes clear, our buddy Jimmy's exposure to the life of the working man may not have been all that extensive.According to the interview:
"And then I worked at McDonald’s for two to three months. Then I got a Pizza Hut commercial with Elvis in it, like a computer generated Elvis. After that, I never had to have a side job again."
Now, maybe two to three months at McDonald's can really drag you through the ringer, but most of us would call that "a summer job." Hell, I spent longer than that working at PF Chang's, and they make you mix the sauce there and box up the leftovers. This being L.A. and all, I'm pretty sure every single one of us know at least two aspiring movie stars who have been scooping couscous or slinging cupcakes for at least a solid half-decade, waiting to get called up to the big leagues. So with all due respect to the star of Annapolis, I'd say he had a fairly charmed entry into showbiz.
"Then I did this horrible show called Pacific Blue, I had a guest spot on that. It was bike cops on the beach— Baywatch on bikes."
I don't know what's harder to take: that he's so negative about a show I watched religiously as a middle-schooler (for reasons I could not even begin to explain to you), or that he rightfully assumes that most people reading the interview won't even remember (or have heard of) Pac Blue.
The rest of the interview, about the need for accountability and feedback as an artist and creator, is very well done, and worthwhile reading for anyone with creative goals. Just remember, if you're celebrating the two year anniversary of working at the bagel shop, don't get mad at James Franco. It's not his fault he's way better than you.
Monday, May 20
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.