Five Things You Didn’t Know about James Franco

Variety Awards Studio - Day 1

James Franco is an actor, director, producer, teacher, author and artist with an estimated net worth of about $22 million. Most people have a vague understanding that James Franco is this pseudo-Renaissance man because of his diverse artistic ability and what appears to be superior intellect to that of his peers.  Franco is certainly an interesting guy. While there are tons of facts about him that most people don’t know, there are some relatively general tidbits about Franco that are common knowledge. For one, the guy is a worker. He’s appeared in over 50 films, while still doing television, writing, directing and producing since 1999. That’s a pretty high work rate. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in 127 Hours and won a Golden Globe for his depiction of James Dean in the biographical film. While there are a hundreds of things you probably don’t know about him. Here are five interesting facts…

Did great in his Role as James Dean

Perhaps James Franco’s first major recognition was for the  title gig in Mark Rydell’s 2001 TV biographical film James Dean. For the role, Franco totally immersed himself in the gig. He learned to play the guitar and bongos, he dyed his brown hair blonde, and went from being a non-smoker to smoking two packs a day. That’s commitment. Fortunately, he quit after the movie.

General Hospital

Most people have heard this, but it’s still pretty funny. James Franco sought out a soap opera role in 2009 after already establishing himself as a successful film actor. He landed a gig as a character named ‘Franco’ on General Hospital. He intermittently played the role from 2009 to 2012.

Drop out to Yale PhD

James Franco is a brainiac. That’s common knowledge. However, he’s taken an interesting path with higher education. He enrolled at UCLA after high school, but dropped out after his first year. He always wanted to pursuing acting, but feared rejection. Long story short, he found his way in acting and re-enrolled in 2006. His academic pursuits eventually lead him to Yale where he is currently a PhD candidate.


James Franco was named People With Money’s #1 in the 10 Highest Paid Actors in 2014 with estimated earnings of over $75 million. The list considers factors such as upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work. Seems a little incongruent with his net worth!

Can’t Get a Date?

Oddly enough he hasn’t had that much of a dating background. He dated Marla Sokoloff for a while and was also connected to Ahna O’Reilly. Those relationships didn’t amount to much and now he’s taking to social media to attract Lana Del Rey. Maybe that’s why…

Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

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