is a refreshing
and talented young actor who, with his recent roles in Spider-man
and Spider-man 2
, seems to be finally getting the exposure he deserves. The end of Spiderman 2 especially foreshadows greater roles for this man in the future.
Like James Dean, the iconic actor he portrayed in a 2001 made for TV movie of the same name, Franco seems to be in his own unique world as compared to his Hollywood peers. From seeing his Daniel DeSario character on the late, great Freaks and Geeks drama and listening to the DVD commentary of the series, it is clear that James Franco is a bit of an odd duck who, despite or because of this, is genius at making his characters appear very real.
As is to be expected from geniuses, Franco has several eccentricities about him. For instance, he has quite an oral fixation. Watch him on the screen and you'll see that he can't go ten seconds without having a bit of food, gum, a cigarette, a female body part, or some other random object in his mouth. Funny stuff! In James Dean, there is a point in the movie where he randomly puts a script between his lips. In the Freaks and Geeks commentary, a legend is told about his picking up one of Lindsay's stuffed animals and licking it in one take. Totally random. He also has a way with making strange, exaggerated faces and gestures when saying certain lines. In my opinion, both of these ideosyncracies only strengthen James as an actor and make his characters very realistic.
To paraphrase someone from www.freaksandgeeks.com, James Franco is like the guy who works at the gas station with greasy hair that you make out with. Sounds pretty accurate. I hope to see Franco in many more roles in the future. Though he is still a relative unknown, far from idol status, he is a very genuine young actor. A true cult classic actor, bringing justice to a role like James Dean.