Seriously. More often than not -- well, okay ... the vast majority of the time -- actors doing anything other than acting bothers me. See: "But what I really want to do is direct!" and/or "Check out my new clothing line!" They have every right in the world to do this stuff, but it still bothers me. Irrational, I know, but there it is.
James Franco is a different story. Franco is everywhere ... in an almost literal sense. If the guy started performing a song and dance routine at the restaurant down the street from me, I'd only be mildly surprised.
But does it bother me that the guy is acting, hosting, writing, directing, etc.? Not one bit.
There are a couple problems when celebrities branch out:
- They might not be very good at the new thing. Eddie Murphy's music career comes to mind.
- They might not be doing work they're credited with. Show of hands: how many people really think Jessica Simpson is a fashion designer?
- They might become horrifically overexposed. Even if you kinda sorta like the person, there's only so much you can take.
For me, Franco is avoiding all of these pitfalls.
- He's no Raymond Carver (although neither was Carver), but he's lots better than Snooki's ghostwriter.
- There's no question that that's Franco in 127 Hours, Saturday Night Live and General Hospital. And that'll be him hosting the Oscars and directing a movie or two down the line. No doubt: he's actually doing the work. (Hey, an MFA isn't the most difficult degree in the world to get, but it isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination.)
- His presence -- on screen, in interviews -- has just the right amount of, "I'm just having a good time." Too much of that attitude and no one takes you seriously. Not enough and everyone thinks you take yourself too seriously.
I'm looking forward to his Oscar gig with Anne Hathaway. (A brilliant move on the part of the producers, by the way.) More James Franco is all right with me.
After all, I'm in love.