Opinion: James Franco takes it to the next level



Mike Crissman

Mike Crissman

Mike Crissman is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

For whatever reason, going to college encourages an excessive amount of sleep. Whether a student has a little to do or a lot to do, they almost always feel tired. This can be a problem. Lucky for us, we have actor James Franco to learn from.

Franco is without a doubt one of the great multi-taskers of our time. In addition to maintaining a busy acting schedule with Hollywood, starring in such movies as “127 Hours,” the “Spiderman” trilogy and “Pineapple Express,” the 32 year old stays productive almost every waking hour of the day.

The ambitious Franco enrolled at UCLA in 2006 majoring in creative writing. He took as many as 62 credit hours per quarter (the normal limit is 19) while still continuing to act. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2008 with a GPA over 3.5. He then moved to New York and simultaneously began attending graduate school at Columbia University, New York University and Brooklyn College. He earned a master’s degree last year and is now well on his way to earning a doctorate in English at Yale University.

All of this while writing a book of short stories, having a recurring guest role as a serial killer on the soap opera “General Hospital,” painting, giving speeches, adapting screenplays and directing films.

It actually hurts your brain to imagine doing half of those things. Franco has more extracurricular activities than the small Catholic high school I went to. Any college student who complains about a heavy workload should take a deep breath and re-read the last couple paragraphs.

Despite the A-list actor’s impressively extensive resume, there is some concern that he might be a little too prolific. When you are a jack-of-all-trades, you are likely a master of none. Franco showed signs of fatigue when he hosted the Academy Awards with actress Anne Hathaway last month.

The overburdened actor appeared detached, aloof and super duper high. Many critics have described this year’s Oscars as one of the worst ever, largely because of Franco’s lackluster performance. While I’m inclined to jump on that hater bandwagon, I do think the actor was a victim of his own success. He just has too much going on.

It’s a widely accepted belief that James Franco is a big pot smoker. While his mannerisms and movie choices encourage such an opinion, there’s no way he’s actually getting high all the time and can still find a way to do all the things he does. He would be the first stoner in history to accomplish anywhere near that much.

Never content, Franco continues to add to his plate. He recently accepted a temporary position teaching a course in the fall at NYU’s prestigious film program. (That’s right. Now he’s a professor.) He is also slated to star in a remake of “Planet of the Apes” and a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” among a slew of other projects.

We can learn a lot from this guy’s work ethic. Some people remember the Alamo. Some people remember the Sabbath. I remember James Franco.