Dear James Franco,
Congratulations! You’re kind of having a moment right now. Your hilarious turn as “yourself” – an art-obsessed serious actor who may or may not be gay – in This Is The End is a recent high point for you that is charming audiences and critics alike. This is a great break because, despite being an Oscar-nominated dramatic actor, people tend to kind of roll their eyes at you and your various projects, books, and college courses. (Not me! But some people.) I figured you could ride this out and parlay it into a few more great, interesting films that would remind people why they were intrigued by you as an actor in the first place and I wouldn’t have to worry about what’s become of you anymore, and I could move on to worrying if Ryan Gosling has become a parody of himself.
But then you went and wrote one of the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read from you. I don’t even know what to do with it. According to an all-over-the-place article you wrote for Vice about superheroes, you snuck into the premiere of Man of Steel and now you’ve got thoughts about superheroes! And money! And Henry Cavill! And sequels!
Let’s highlight a few quotes from your piece, shall we?
1) You clearly tried on your old-man glasses and liked the way they looked: “I too have been in comic-book films — the Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi. I mention the director because this distinction is now necessary in the wake of the new Spider-Man series that arose even before there was time to bury the corpse of the old one and enshroud it in the haze of nostalgia. Indeed there are still young children who approach me as fans of the original (boy, it seems weird to say that) series.”
2) You arrived “incognito” to the Man of Steel London premiere because “I don’t think Henry Cavill would have wanted to see me there. … My hunch is that he didn’t like me very much.” This part of the article is great because it allowed me to re-remember that you and Cavill starred in Tristan & Isolde together. I also enjoyed when you shared that Cavill has wanted to be Superman for a long time.
3) You got Ph.D.-educated pseudo-deep by the end of the nearly 1,300-word essay. “So, what did we watch? A great film. But what makes me say this? Is it the nerd revolution that has brought our public taste to the point where comic-book characters and video games are now cool? Are these huge comic-book films the way for the world at large to embrace the subjects of these forms that are traditionally relegated to the nerd niche? Yes, in a way. But in another way, we are just wowed by the money that brings them to fruition.”
Now, you’re obviously just as entitled to voice your opinions about Henry Cavill as anybody. But there’s a reason America’s favorite stars aren’t regularly sharing every thought that’s in their heads. You raise a few good points in this article, but I worry that indulgent stunts like this — not to mention your crowd-sourced project that you started this week — are going to give people the ammo they’re looking for to continue to roll their eyes at you, which is a public perception I desperately want you to be able to overcome.
I think you’re a talented actor and people seem really into you right now. Don’t let them forget why.
P.S.: Pineapple Express 2 is still totally happening at some point, right?