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James Franco can be called many things: an actor, a scholar, a poet, a painter. But Franco is simply an artist. His roles are diverse in that he could play a drugged-out gangster or a man with his hand stuck underneath a rock. The 35-year-old most recently duked it out with friends in Comedy Central’s Roast of James Franco.
Franco got his start on the short-lived, but critically acclaimed, television show, Freaks and Geeks. After the show was cancelled, he made the jump over to films where he eventually stayed. Franco did, however, go back on TV for a three-year guest-starring role on General Hospital.
Though Franco is an actor, he has expanded his mind as well. He enrolled at University of California Los Angeles in 2006 as an English major with a creative writing concentration and graduated in 2008. Franco also has a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia, was a Ph.D student at Yale and taught classes for University of Southern California, UCLA, California Arts and New York University.
Franco has written a book, released a CD and is an avid painter. However, outside of all of his (incredibly impressive) hobbies, Franco is an actor.
Below are his top 10 films.
10. Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)
This Wizard of Oz remake had Franco in the role of the Wizard and his journey throughout Oz and beyond.
9. In the Valley of Elah (2007)
In this film, Franco plays a solider. The film follows Tommy Lee Jones’s character as he tries to find out exactly what happened to his son.
8. Spring Breakers (2013)
While there were mixed reviews, the critics seemed to agree that Franco showed his fine acting skills quite well. The spring break film also stared Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Pretty Little Liars' Ashley Benson.
7. Pineapple Express (2008)
In this film, Franco starred as an avid weed smoker with his Freaks and Geeks co-star, Seth Rogan.
6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Fun fact: No apes were used in the film. It was (obviously) all computer animation.
5. James Dean (2001)
This was Franco’s first real jump to films.
4. This is the End (2013)
The 2013 comedy tells the story of Franco and his buddies as they try to survive the apocalypse.
3. Milk (2008)
The film, based on the true politician Harvey Milk, starred Sean Penn. Franco’s role received critical praise on how well he blended in with the character.
2. Spiderman (2002)
This was the first big Blockbuster hit of Franco’s. He played Spiderman’s best friend and the son of the Green Goblin. Franco was cast in each of the three films.
1. 127 Hours (2010)
This film, based on a true story, is one of the best, if not the best, Franco film. The raw emotion and heartbreaking ending was enough to make you cry.