American actor James Franco has starred in numerous films including 127 Hous (2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), and This is the End (2013). A former student at UCLA, he ultimately dropped out after his first year to pursue acting. From there, he eventually appeared on a few TV commercials before making his official debut in an episode of Pacific Blue in 1997- two years later, he appeared on screen for the first time in Never Been Kissed.
Born on April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, James Franco is the son of Betsy Lou and Douglas Eugene Franco, the former of whom was an occassional actress. Growing up with his two brothers, his parents had always placed an emphasis of education. As a teen, he was a student at Palo Alto High School- it was there that he first got involved with plays. Following his graduation in 1996, he went to the University of California, Los Angeles where he majored in English. Despite this, he had secretly wanted to pursue an acting career.
Eventually deciding to pursue his passion, he dropped out of the college program to pursue a career as an actor. For the next little while, he honed his skills at the Playhouse West while working at McDonald’s to support himself. Then a year later, he started to audition for television roles. After making a few brief appearances on TV, he landed his first lead role in the NBC series, Freaks and Geeks. Though it was ultimately short lived, it was well-reviewed among audiences.
How James Franco Became Famous
A few years later, Franco’s popularity peaked after being cast as the title character in the biographical film, James Dean (2001). Directed by Mark Rydell, the TV movie chronicled the life of American actor James Dean. In order to immerse himself fully in the role, the actor not only learnt how to ride a motorcycle, but bleached his hair blonde. Aside from him, the cast list also included Michael Moriarty, Valentina Cervi, and Enrico Colantoni.
Released on the Turner Network on August 4, 2001, James Dean was critically acclaimed by critics- many of whom lauded Franco’s performance. For his portrayal in the movie, he eventually received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Television film.
Not long afterwards, he gained worldwide fame with the release of the superhero film, Spider-Man (2002). Based on the Marvel Comics character, it told the story of a high school student who becomes a crime-fighting hero after being bit by a spider. While Tobey Maguire played the title role, Franco portrayed the part of his best friend, Harry Osborn; the two are joined by Wilklem DAfoe, Kirsten Dunst, Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris.
Released in theaters on May 3, 2002, Spider-Man quickly established a new record, having grossed over $100 million during its opening weekend. A huge blockbuster, it took in a total of $821.7 million worldwide by the end of its box office run, making it one of the highest-grossing films that year.
James Franco’s Other Noteworthy Film Roles
In 2008, Franco starred in the comedy film, Pinepple Express alongside Seth Rogen, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez, and Danny McBride. A stoner action movie, it saw him playing the role of Saul Silver, a drug dealer whom a twenty something year old tries to purchase marijuana from. Released nationwide on August 6, 2008, it grossed $23.2 million during its initial weekend after making $12.1 million on the first day. Though ratings were mixed, the film ended up being a success with a total gross of $101.6 million.
Having put on yet another applause worthy performance, Franco earned himself a Golden Globe Award nomination for his take on Saul Silver.
Two years later, he played the lead character in the survival drama film, 127 Hours (2010). Based on a memoir by Aron Ralston, it starred Franco as Aaron Ralston, a canyoneer who finds himself trapped by a boulder in the unrelenting canyons of Utah. Screened on November 5, 2010, the movie was met with universal acclaim from critics, most of which were directed towards the actor’s performance.
A box office hit with a gross of $60.7 million, 127 Hours went on to garner three Golden Globe Award nominations, one of which went towards Franco for Best Actor. On top of that, he was eventually nominated for an Academy Award, among countless other nominations. To date, it remains to be one of his best remembered roles on screen.
Then in 2012, he co-starred in crime film, Spring Breakers alongside Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine, and Selena Gomez. Directed by Harmony Korine, it revolved around a group of girls who meet an eccentric drug dealer during their spring break. For playing the part of Alien, a local gangster and rapper, he earned himself several accolades including an MTV Movie Award nomination and a People’s Choice Award nomination, among others.
James Franco on Television
Aside from his work in Hollywood, Franco has also appeared on television on several occasions. Following his lead role in Freaks and Geeks (1999), he played a recurring character in General Hospital: Night Shift (2007), and General Hospital (2009), after which he made a number of guest appearances in 30 Rock (2010), The Mindy Project (2013), Naked and Afraid (2014), and Deadbeat (2015), to name a few.
James Franco’s Snapchat Name – jamesfranco
We have some good news for fans- it looks like James Franco is active on Snapchat! If you’d like to add the actor to your friend’s list on the app, simply click here.
James Franco’s Other Social Media Accounts
James Franco’s Facebook Account
If you want to follow the actor on Facebook, you can do so by liking his official page at @JamesFranco.
James Franco’s Twitter Account
Though he was active on Twitter at one point in the past, it looks like he may have deleted his account.
James Franco’s Instagram Account
Similar to his Twitter account, it seems that he’s deleted his Instagram account- which was previously accessible at @JamesfrancoTV.
James Franco’s Youtube Account
Interested in viewing some of his videos? You’ll be happy to know that you can find the actor over on Youtube at @JamesFrancoChannel where he has over 1.6 million fans.