Jan 18, 2011 12:00AM

Oyster Recommends: James Franco

Making the rest of us look bad since 1978.

This week, Editor Alice Cavanagh recommends one of her favourite things (OK, everyone's favourite things): James Franco.

James Franco makes the rest of us look bad. Movie star, multimedia artist, writer, director, student, soon-to-be Oscars host — is there nothing this man can't do?

At Oyster we entertain a somewhat unhealthy fascination with Franco and everything he does. This is easy to maintain because he seems to do something interesting on (at least) a weekly basis. Last week, for example, he announced that he was putting on a musical with fellow students at Yale, aptly titled James Franco Presents, which he will add to a resume as varied as his head is good-looking.

Yet as with most things in life — where there are fans, there will also be skeptics. And for some time now, Franco has been the fodder of heated debate. Why, people have wondered, can't he just be content with his good looks and acting ability? Is this perhaps another Hollywood hoax, akin to I'm Still Here? Is he getting special treatment at university?

Bottom line: we don't care. We think he is awesome. We would consider writing a regular column on him. Below are the things we love most about James Franco.

1) He has a winning red carpet smile — the perfect amount of cheese.

2) He is a friend of the gays. In fact he openly embraces them (see Milk and Howl) and doesn't mind a bit of drag himself.

3) He can laugh at himself — a very rare talent for an actor.

4) He is ridiculously smart. At UCLA, Franco took on three times the normal credit limit and graduated in just two years. He then moved to New York and enrolled in four graduate programs: NYU for filmmaking, Columbia for fiction writing, Brooklyn College for fiction writing and poetry at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. He is now doing a PhD in English at Yale.

5) He peed whilst being interviewed for New York Magazine.

Alice Cavanagh

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