James Franco recently revealed that of all the risky roles he's taken on the most career imperiling has been his stint on a soap opera.
Long the launching pad for many a superstar -- Meg Ryan, Demi Moore, Halle Berry and Kevin Bacon, to name a few -- soap operas may be celebrity career starters but are rarely places that garner return visits once marquee fame hits. That is, until Franco (and a brief return by Julianne Moore in "As a World Turns.")
When Franco was asked during a recent interview with The Advocate if his laundry list of gay-themed projects (he played a 17-year-old dating an older man in "Blind Spot" and was Sean Penn's lover in "Milk") caused those around him some concern about his being typecast, Franco revealed his agents had bigger fish to fry.
“You want to know what my agents did try to talk me out of?” he said in the interview. “'General Hospital.' They didn't think me acting in a soap opera was the greatest idea."
Last year, Franco had people scratching their heads when he popped up in promotional videos for "General Hospital." The recurring role had the actor playing -- in a life imitating art twist -- a multimedia artist who descends on the fictional Port Charles to settle unfinished business with a local mobster.
Currently, he's ramping up promotional efforts for his biggest role to date: playing a young Allen Ginsberg navigating his way through art, love, and homosexuality in the upcoming film "Howl."
We love the sparks and the genuine nuttiness it takes to take that project on and actually follow it through. And we especially love Franco in his crazy "30 Rock" cameo where he had a love affair with a pillow. We need more of this color in a world turned grey by PR and agents. So long may the quirky Franco reign.
As for playing a homosexual, Franco said it's just more interesting than playing straight: “In this history of cinema, there are so many heterosexual love stories,” he said. “It’s so hammered, so done. It’s more interesting to me to play roles and relationships that haven’t been portrayed as often.”