James Franco pisses off ‘General Hospital’ viewers, who are not amused

james franco

It takes a lot of (useless) mental energy to get revved up enough to write about James Franco, and he’d probably be quite flattered to hear of that sentiment. Quite simply though (and this isn’t a compliment), Franco is an exhausting entity and lately not so much an actor as a personality who seeks to inform us all about how highly educated and well-rounded he is as a person. He seems to believe that that acting should simply be considered “performance art”. So here are some stills from Franco’s recent (return) stint on “General Hospital” starting with the first one (above). Don’t ask me what that stuff is on his chin. Just don’t.

At any rate, the show’s audience is said to be displeased with James Franco, who played an ongoing “GH” character that simply goes by the name of “Franco.” As a whole, his entire performance seems to be merely a self-referential exercise for sure. But remember, this is a man who got his NYU professor fired for giving him a “D” grade and considers his own butt to be “art.” Never mind that James Franco can’t handle the simple concept of Twitter because he’s an artist that shall be regarded as such for generations to come, right?

Now a pretentious, Franco-oriented article from Hollywood Reporter discusses his latest involvement with “GH,” and as expected, he’s basically making fun of the show, its audience, and everyone in between; naturally, he sees all of this as part of his artistic evolution. It’s kind of confusing too, but his “GH” appearance is also part of a silly movie called Francophrenia that will soon be screening at Tribeca. So Franco has basically made a movie about a guy (himself) who gets himself mixed up with his own serial-killer character … and (drum roll) the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur. It’s so dumb. Here’s part of the Hollywood Reporter article, and the clip of Franco’s “GH” serial-killer exit is below as well:

james franco

The simple synopsis of Francophrenia (or, Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is), which makes its U.S. debut Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival, is that it’s a movie about a TV actor who confuses his true self with his character. The mental blur, at the most basic level, comes due to the fact that the actor shares his name with his character, who just so happens to recite long monologues about manipulating reality.

But that the actor is James Franco, a man who has gone from well-regarded actor to tirelessly medium-hopping Hollywood Rorschach blot, makes it impossible to settle for a simple synopsis. After all, this is the guy who gave just two requirements for his character on “General Hospital”: “All I said was I wanted to be an artist and I wanted to be crazy,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter during a sit-down conversation in New York.

It was two years ago that, in order to prepare for a role as a fictional soap opera actor in a film by his artist friend Carter, Franco decided the best research was to actually act in a daytime soap. That led to that famed guest arc on the ABC daytime drama, where he was rewarded with a part as a crazed installation artist-serial killer named Franco, the first step in the warping of fact and fiction.

“I didn’t know what would happen, it was just sort of an experiment, it was a way to just insert myself into this kind of foreign world that was also sort of related to my world,” Franco explains, adding that he also was interested in exploring the friction between what is perceived as highbrow (film) and lowbrow (soaps) entertainment. The parody in it all, the name Franco and serial killer identity, didn’t come from any desire to poke fun at the world — they came straight from the “General Hospital” writers room. If there was any joke, everyone from the show was in on it.

That sense of fun didn’t extend to the audience. At first, the reception for his soap work was less than positive, and he got the creeping sense that he was seen as an impostor in the daytime world.

Why, people wondered, would a guy who had just earned awards for starring with Sean Penn in an Oscar-winning drama now go to the equivalent of Hollywood’s cheesier minor leagues? Some saw it as an attention grab — though there are far easier and seedier ways to get press than a recurring role on a daytime show — which hardened his resolve “to frame [the role on the show] for myself and have some ownership of it.”

From there, he took a camera on set to document his experiences, including at a special, public taping of an episode at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Between a plot that featured the character Franco’s artistic re-creation of the show’s usual hospital set and fans of the show doubling as extras in the episode, it was multi-layered even before Franco filmed behind the scenes.

“We wanted our own, basically f#@*ed-up version,” he laughs, though he admits he didn’t know how that f#@*ed-up version would take shape.

** Don’t kill him, he knows where the baby is **

In many ways, that’s the point: the film serves in part as a sort of notice that, yes, Franco is well aware that his forays into writing, cross-country degree collection, art, experimental filmmaking and celebrity-challenging sometimes leave people scratching their heads — and often outwardly cynical about his motives. Here, he gets to wink at those critics, even though his initial acting in “General Hospital” was as straightforward as the sometimes ludicrous story line allowed.

It’s a sly response to the sort of bizarre myth that has grown around him. Among other critical missives, he refers to a 2010 New York Magazine piece by Sam Anderson that asked “Is James Franco for Real?” and served as a kind of national damnation by inquiry, casting him as equal parts myth, savant and snake oil salesman in its examination of his literary, artistic and academic pursuits.

[From Hollywood Reporter]

That reference to a “snake oil salesman” really sums up my feelings on Franco these days. For awhile, he was amusing enough while bucking the system, but now it’s just annoying to hear him prattle on about how smart and educated he is due to simultaneously pursuing three different graduate degrees (while not attending class) and starring in Blockbuster movies (while talking them down but willingly accepting the paychecks). Here’s that “GH” clip of the death of the “Franco” character:

As for the “GH” clip, I don’t know what to think about Franco’s “artistic” intentions, but he is one lousy actor when it comes to soap operas. Granted that such programming doesn’t call for Oscar-caliber performances, but Franco is espcially bad as serial killer “Franco.” He’s obviously attempting to be a vaudeville villain but is failing miserably. Here’s an actual question — is “General Hospital” always this terrible? I’m not big into soaps but am familiar enough with “Y&R” to the point where I can tune in quarterly and easily catch up on the storyline and the bed-swapping between characters. The “Y&R” acting isn’t great, but they get the job done, so is “GH” always this bad, or is just Franco’s presence?

Well at least “GH” fans can rest assured that “Franco” won’t be returning anytime soon. Or at least, he shouldn’t return anytime soon. One never knows with soap operas.

james franco

Photos courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

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39 Responses to “James Franco pisses off ‘General Hospital’ viewers, who are not amused”

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  1. Happymom says:

    His “performance” as an Oscar host completely illustrated what a self absorbed, pretentious ahole he is.

  2. Lem says:

    Watch and learn Joaquin. Watch and learn. I see epic Hemingway/ Barrymore or Kirkland/Heche episodes in the horizon. He believes he’s truly great and the truly great always are … Epic

  3. Gene Parmesan says:

    ugh this pretentious fool again.

  4. Lem says:

    Sure he can return. They kill Brenda all the time

  5. Rhea says:

    Ughhh + Meh x Ewwww = James Franco

  6. Rita says:

    He is female version of Radio Gaga. He thinks that everything he does is art and he is so special. Yeah special needs.

  7. Rose says:

    now i want to know what’s on his chin?

  8. JenD says:

    He did a local radio interview last year, and he listed all the colleges/universities where he has studied. It seemed like he was trying to impress that he studied at those places, without accomplishing anything. And he was utterly boring to boot.

    • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

      Typical entitled celeb behavior. I’ve said it here before, but I went to the University of Pennslvania with Ivanka Trump (who never showed for the class we had together). The professor was “very strongly advised” to give her a grade of B or better, but she was so bitter about having to do it that she announced it to the class. I’d like to shake the hand of the NYU professor who gave him the D that he deserved.

      • Stellax2 says:

        Ha, we live in the same region and went to the same school. I went at a much earlier time ;) .

        I recall some entitled people attending school and it was about getting money from the parent’s for funding, grants and updates to Penn’s buildings.

        Didn’t she originally attend Georgetown? And left (via rumor) due to a bad break-up?

  9. Alexis says:

    He does all this artsy sh*t to compensate for the fact that he really isn’t talented.

  10. Aiobhan says:

    I actually watch GH every day. Don’t laugh; I have been watching since I was 13 and it is a habit that I cannot break. Yes, GH is usually terrible but has been getting better for a while now. It is a soap so if you just accept that almost eveything is illogical and possibly politically incorrect then you can enjoy the show. Anyway “Franco” was actually shot and killed by Jason, main thug/hero, on the show last year and his body was burned to a crisp. The shots that you have are from his first “death”. Again, don’t laugh at me…. too hard.

    Franco is an ass but still pretty funny to me. I really want to see that film that he is doing with Selena Gomez.

    • Naye in VA says:

      I havent watched GH in years due to work scheduling but i used to watch everyday from 8th-12th grade, and the best part about it are the illogical irational storylines. you get a chance to love and hate certain characters over and over again. Sonny was my boo but he’s starting to show his age. Whatever happened to sexy ass Alcazar?

    • Esmom says:

      Not laughing at you at all. I was an on-and-off AMC viewer for about 30 years. The characters were a comforting presence in my otherwise unpredictable life. I think it’s sad that they are a dying species while reality TV like Jersey Shore and Real Housewives are getting the attention. Talk about lowbrow fare. Not to mention that soap actors actually work. A lot.

  11. Turd Fergussen says:

    Yup, my pitiful ass DVRs General Hospital every day. My mom used to watch it when I was a kid during my nap hour. More often than not, I’d crawl out of bed and surreptitiously watch the antics of Luke and Laura from around the corner. Well, it stuck, and I’ve been watching it steadily since 96.

    I rolled my eyes when Franco came on, and never really understood his motivation to do so. I know he takes himself very, very seriously (another eye roll) and considers himself an artist.

    There are some great actors on GH: Tony Geary, Jonathan Jackson, Maurice Benard… but Franco’s character was a joke. The powers that be change constantly in the soap world, and so maybe in different hands his character could have been palatable. As it stands, his character has, from beyond the grave, managed to ruin a very sweet (albeit boring, and we can’t have that in soap world) storyline between Sam and Jason finally having a baby of their own.

  12. Butch says:

    I love him. He’s smart, funny and really a better actor than most in H’wood lately. At least he doesn’t sit around expecting work to just walk through the door unlike other lazy, entitled, premafamewhore, so-called actors.

  13. Missy says:

    I like him too. Since when is getting an education a bad thing? It’s his life and he’s fortunate enough to be able to do things that are interesting to him. He likes art, photography, literature, writing, directing, acting, teaching…etc. Why does he have to be labeled and put into a box as only one thing? I’m sure you all have multiple interests. Lighten up, Celebitchy. Maybe you need a few more hobbies.

  14. Kim says:

    Who hires this extremely untalented moron?!

  15. thetruthhurts says:

    Sorry, but the actors on Y&R are the best in daytime. Most of them would be able to move on to Primetime smoothly (Michael Muhney for example), something I cannot say for actors on any of the remaining soaps.

  16. cee says:

    I watch GH, haven’t in 2 months, but as a HUGE SamFF and Jason and Sam as a couple fan, the storyline involving JF’s character Franco is VERY nauseating, sexist, sick, and HORRIBLE as a young wmoen, and someone who loved to watch the show. His character along with the continuos sexist attitudes from the writers and idiots in charge have ruined the show for me, they only reason I continue to care about it is because of the lovely Kelly Monaco who plays Sam. Kelly is the sweetest person ever, especially to her fans.

  17. Samantha says:

    At least the guy ain’t some typical dumb ass you’re most likely to find in Hollywood these days!Credit where its due,James Franco is obviously a multifaceted individual who has pursued several interests notwithstanding studying for a Masters degree and PhD respectively.Fact is,I prefer people who have ‘depth’ and are of ‘substance’ as compared to the rampant hollowness that seems to persists in the ‘City of Dreams’ these days and quite frankly,James falls in the former category.Credit where its due,love him or hate him,James has achieved way more than the average individual in the entertainment industry.

  18. Samantha says:

    I apologize for the grammatical errors where concerned,its past midnight here in SA lol!

  19. Lily says:

    That is one lousy soap opera.
    Please learn from brazilians how it’s done!

  20. Michelle says:

    I’ve watched GH on and off since I was a little girl (about 20 years) and the Franco stuff is one of the worst storylines I’ve ever seen. It was just awful and one of the many reason I’m in an “off” phase.