HOLLYWOOD — James Franco got to host the Oscars with Anne Hathaway because he’s got it all going on. We predict he’s the next big Hollywood superstar … move over George Clooney! Franco, 33, began his career in TV in “Freaks & Geeks” and won a Golden Globe for playing “James Dean” in the TV biopic. The “Spider-Man” trilogy led to “The Pineapple Express,” the award-winning “Milk” and a best-actor Oscar nomination for “127 Hours.”
In his spare time, Franco received permission from UCLA to take up to 62 course credits per quarter (19 is the norm), received an MFA from Columbia University, went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for film making and Brooklyn College for fiction writing. He’s currently getting his Ph.D in English at Yale and soon will attend the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2012 he’ll attend the University of Houston to get his Ph.D in literature and creative writing (only 20 of 400 applicants were accepted).
Franco has “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” just out, and he produced and starred in “The Stare” with Winona Ryder. He directed and starred in a nine-day shoot of “Sal,” the biopic of Sal Mineo (Oscar nominated for “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Exodus”), with Val Lauren as Mineo, to be released in 2013. He’s currently filming “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” based on “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (written in 1900), about its creator, L. Frank Baum. He’ll direct and star in “The Night Stalker,” about serial killer Richard Ramirez, star in “The Iceman” with Michael Shannon and direct a film version of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Franco acquired the rights to Stephen Elliot’s “The Adderall Diaries,” which he’ll adapt, star in and direct, and he’ll be on Broadway next season in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” with Nicole Kidman.
In his spare time, Franco drops into “General Hospital” to play Robert “Franco” Frank (coming up in September for an extended run). Small wonder he’s got little time for romance. He broke up with his actress girlfriend of five years, Ahna O’Reilly, saying that his interest in education came between them! Talk about cracking the books!
Franco’s Oscar co-host, Anne Hathaway, will be Batwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises,” currently shooting in Pittsburgh with Christian Bale (again Batman), Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, “La Vie En Rose” Oscar-winner Marion Catillard, “3rd Rock from the Sun” alum Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Liam Neeson and Matthew Modine. With a cast like that, it sounds like she’s having more fun cracking the whip (as Batwoman) than the books like James Franco!
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(c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.