James Franco is definitely not having the time of his life.
To call Franco eccentric would be a vast understatement. He is one of the most polarising figures in Hollywood. People hate him, people love him. His acting ranges from very bad to brilliant. He loves Cormac McCarthy’s works, but stars in shitty comedies with Seth Rogen. He’s a man of the renaissance too – Franco published several poetry books, he is also a prolific painter.
Did I mention that he graduated from Harvard?
All things considered, James Franco can be seen as one to envy. However, he always seemed like a rather B-list actor to me. In the very long list of his performances, there was hardly ever one that provided him with an important award. He was an indie star, who never made it to the big league.
“The Disaster Artist” was supposed to be a breakthrough. Franco was totally immersed in portraying the infamous self-proclaimed artist Tommy Wise. The film received an ovation after its premiere at the TIFF. Following a strong marketing campaign, “The Disaster Artist” got Franco a Golden Globe. And when everybody thought that this his way to receive an Oscar, a real disaster happened.
The first thing were the sexual harassment allegations. Right after the Golden Globes, when Franco was preparing for the final race in the Oscars. Four women, who worked with him on set claimed that he was “….” It was a bummer. Even though there was no real evidence, Franco’s reputation was not Andrew Garfield’s charming level. It was rather “Franco, that self-loving ***”. It didn’t take much to deteriorate that even further.
However, it’s not the end. It’s the beginning of March and Franco is back on the frontpage. This time, he’s being sued by the author of the original screenplay for “The Disaster Artist” (which was nominated for script!). A former student of Franco per se (!). Ryan Moody claims that Franco ripped him off, buying the script for a ridiculously small price of $5,000. Call it a really bad business conduct (that is my personal view) of mr. Moody, but the thing is – Franco’s market value is Earth-core-rocketing.
I personally hate the fact that all of these allegations are flying over our heads, but there’s no real evidence. What happened with Kevin Spacey was outrageous. The man was accused of atrocious things. If he committed them, then I whole-heartedly support the idea of the “Spacey hunt”. In order to do that though, we need proof. I might be too traditional, but shouldn’t we first have something solid to throw accusations?
Franco’s image is currently holding the title of the king of the uncool. Sexual harassment, fraud – this can’t be an easy PR mess to dig oneself out of. I don’t want to take sides this time. I’d rather sit comfortably and see where this is gonna go. In the end, “innocent unless proven guilty” still holds – or maybe it is no longer viable in the era of the Internet?