all photos: Shauna Alexander
James Fucking Franco. This man has plucked our heartstrings since Freaks and Geeks (such a cute high schooler), stole our hearts in Spider Man (total revenge seeking goblin), then set our wildest sex dreams alive with Milk (that mustache! and those tight tshirts!). While taking 4000 credits around the world at different universities, he managed to star in General Hospital and make movie after movie. He’s in a PhD program at Yale and secured a professorship at NYU. Yep, that’s now Professor James Fucking Franco. Imagine all the students who will try to fail his class to make up those grades with a makeup BJ.
When a flier leaked for a night with James Franco (to benefit 826DC no less, and followed by a bound-to-be-romantic dinner @ Poste) we jumped on top of it to bring you what we thought was going to be an in person interview. Here’s how the interview would have gone:
BYT: Take your pants off?
James Franco (in the nude): OK, now what?
We’ll leave the rest to your hypothetical imagination
BUT We were invited to interview him as part of a press junket. He spoke for fifteen minutes while we all drooled. Here’s how it went:
Junket: How did you get involved with writing?
James Franco: I started reading really young. I read the Oz books, then the Tolkien books. In high school I got involved with more serious literature. Then, I took creative writing classes. Writing is only one form of creativity. Kids are extremely creative these days. Kids are posting millions of videos a day on YouTube, but I’m not sure if that’s what you are getting at. Writing can allow one to describe the interior of a character. There are more possibilities for getting at the abstract. (This was before he was served a cup of coffee. Watch the answers get better as he drinks.)
Junket: What obstacles do you think kids will have to get over?
826: Some of their biggest obstacles come from cultural things because English might not be their first language or their economic situations can be obstacles as well.
Junket: You wrote a collection of short stories that were subject to critique. What do you recommend to those students to cope with critique.
JF: I’m critiqued in lots of areas of my life. When you do something for a long time you get a sense of what is good and what is not. You have your own criteria for what is good. Once you reach that point it’s a little easier to face outside critics. If you let that inside you give more weight to what it is. You always have people that you look up to, as well and you should also follow your intentions.
Then there were a few really dumb questions, that really aren’t fit to rewrite. One was about his favorite place to read in the city. I mean, really, you think James just hops down to DC to read under a few cherry blossom trees in between making 7 movies and failing kids intentionally so that he can get mad BJs? Another person asked a question about policy reform in education. Basically, he deflected the question like a sexy literary wizard and spoke of the benefits of 826. Good job, James.
HERE COMES THE PERHAPS JUICY GOSSIP YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
He also deflected another dumb question about the connotation of DC by talking about biographies he read from people who lived here. He talks about Hart Crane.
JF: Crane was big into the underground gay life of the 1920’s in DC. (Does this confirm or deny rumors!?)
Junket: How do you find time to write?
JF: If you want to make time, you make time. I’m sure we all have an hour or two that we use surfing Facebook or something that you do instead of writing. No one is going to beg a new writer to write. You have to really want to do it. I guess that’s the same for any creative endeavor. No one is going to pluck you out of the crowd and ask you to be a creative person.
BYT: We know that you are popular in real life, but you also have an incredible online presence.
JF: Well, no more. You heard it here first. It’s still up there, but it’s coming down. (He totally got in trouble by some of his sponsors or something. I imagine that it has something to do with this picture from his twitter. Obviously it’s his finger and not his penis and is mostly safe for work.)
BYT: (in continuation): How do you think social media will help literacy?
826: Humans have recently been using the written language more than ever and we are trying to get kids to understand the power of those words whether they are 140 characters or 1000 characters. The goal is to get them to find their own voice. As technology changes the written word changes and we need to be flexible. The power of the written word will always exist.
Quirky quirky 826DC table settings
After the junket, and a few cocktails, we were invited to dinner. The room was filled with people who purchased tickets wolves, hungry for James Franco. People gasped under their breaths when he entered. The menu started with free drinks! Mmmmmm. Then we ate a pretty good salad with like some blue cheese crumbles or something delicious like that. Then out came a coffee encrusted duck with polenta and asparagus. The duck was eh and the polenta was nice. The hazelnut tart was eh, but OMG, WE WERE EATING THE SAME FOOD JAMES FRANCO WAS EATING.
During the dinner, they aired a short film directed by James. It was inspired by a poem so it was pretty abstract and perhaps a little boring. I’m sure he’d seen the film 500 times and we all know that he is such a busy man and that coffee only keeps one awake for so long. While watching the film he leaned back with a wry smile and squinted at the screen and continued resting in that position for the length of the movie. DUDE HAD FALLEN ASLEEP. Like he said in the interview, you just find time to do things that you need to do.
All the happy James Franco dinner party guests: