Tag Archives: James Franco

The Omnipresence of James Franco in My Life

broadway barks

James Franco & A Cat

This past weekend James Franco participated in the annual Broadway Barks adopt-a-thon event and posed for a bunch of publicity photos with this adorable 3-month-old tuxedo kitten named Totes McGotes. Totes McGotes is an Anjellicle Rescue Cat, just like my Ali! And I’ve been volunteering with ACR at least once a week for a year and a half now. Very cool to have this kind of celebrity promotion, but unfortunately when Franco posted some of the pics on his social media outlets with the caption “YOU’VE GOTTA BE KITTEN ME!” and “adopt a pet,” he didn’t mention the name of our organization, the ASPCA, or the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

WHATEVER, JAMES. Totes McGotes can promote himself for adoption. Just look at dat wittle face. (Excuse me. I don’t know what came over me. It’s just that KITTENS!!!)

Or you could click here to read more about our awesome no-kill, grassroots, volunteer-run animal rescue nonprofit. Adopt adopt adopt.

Ahem. We can now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

OK, fine. So I do love how both James and the kitten are making smoldering, come-hither faces at the camera. It’s almost like James Franco needs a loving forever home too.

And I do have this weird hobby of posting photos of famous people with cats on Pinterest. For example:

Bob Dylan & A Cat

Bob Dylan & A Cat

John Lennon & A Cat

John Lennon & A Cat

Andy Warhol & A Cat

The point being, of course, that only really cool people have cats. Or interact with cats. Or pose with them for photographs, at least. But now I’m off topic.

My point is that James Franco is always popping up in my life! He is the only famous person I’ve ever seen in real life without having to, you know, pay money to see perform or whatever. (He was at the same preview performance of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on New Year’s Eve 2012. He was wearing a striped scarf. He also loves Southern literature. We might be the same person.) Funnily enough, almost everyone I know who’s lived here for a year or more seems to have a Franco-sighting story. One of my co-workers has seen him trying to bum cigarettes off NYU students. Another saw him eating tacos, like a normal person. JAMES FRANCO IS EVERYWHERE, I TELL YA.

For example, Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” is one of my favorite novels, and who adapted it for film, both directing and acting in the movie version? James Franco. Whose novels do I see on display tables every time I walk into a bookstore? James Franco’s. And who was filling up my Instagram feed, until I remembered that is one of the few things in life I have control over, and unsubscribed? James freaking Franco.

A couple months ago there was some controversy because James Franco sent skeevy text messages to an underage teenage girl visiting NYC from Scotland. She had seen him perform in “Of Mice & Men” on Broadway, and tagged him in a photo she took of him as he was leaving the show, signing autographs, etc. And then he private messaged her wanting to meet up a hotel room. Um, ew.

Anyway, when this news broke, my Twitter-savvy co-worker announced it to our little desk area, as he always does with news items of personal interest. And I was like, “NO, PLEASE DON’T LET THAT BE TRUE. WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?” Because again, um, ew.

My co-worker then asked if James Franco was, I quote, “my boo.”

Me: NO, I AM JUST DEEPLY FASCINATED BY HIM. It’s also how I feel about Kanye West. And no one likes Kanye West. His music, yes, But Kanye the person, no. I mean, why does James Franco have to make so many kinds of art? He paints, he writes reviews for Vice, he teaches creative writing at UCLA, he’s written books. He did a book-signing at The Strand last month! And, of course, he acts in movies and now on Broadway. One person cannot possibly be good at all those things!

Co-worker: You sure have a lot opinions about someone who you claim is not your boo.

Me: Touché.

(For the record, I still don’t know how someone I don’t know personally can be “my boo.”)

Needless to say, it made perfect sense to me that of aaaaaaaaaaaalll the famous people/Broadway actors and allllll the nonprofits participating in this past weekend’s adopt-a-thon, James freaking Franco would be the one paired with an Anjellicle Rescue Cat. Go. Figure.

OK. And James Franco was maybe kinda sorta really great as an ’80s James Dean-esque stoner rebel kid in the wonderful series “Freaks and Geeks,” whose cancellation after less than one full season is a great injustice to classic high school television shows everywhere. That is one version of James Franco I genuinely appreciate.

Do yourself a favor and Netflix this series, OK?

Do yourself a favor and Netflix this series, OK?

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The Time I Saw Three Famous People in One Day

Please understand that I rarely have such good luck. And while I suppose I have met some famous people: Lyle Lovett, who even fetched me a glass of water because I couldn’t stop coughing; and some much-loved Texas country singer whom I already forgot the name of. And being an Aggie, you know I’ve seen George Bush a couple of times, here and there. Usually, I meet people in what I hope will be their “pre-famous days.” They’ll be big one day, just you wait and see.

BUT NOW I HAVE SEEN FAMOUS PEOPLE THAT ARE CONSIDERED FAMOUS OUTSIDE OF TEXAS. THREE. IN ONE DAY.

I guess that means I’ve used up all my good luck for life.

Anyway, here’s how Sunday, December 30, 2012, a.k.a. New Year’s Eve Eve, went down.

Famous Person I Saw No. 1: Scarlett Johansson

I love Ms. Johansson, ever since I watched Girl With A Pearl Earring after reading the book for a high school English project. I also enjoyed her work in Lost in Translation and, uh, The Nanny Diaries.

And guys. Now I have seen her perform live!

scarjo-122112sp1

I have to credit my brother-in-law Ryan, who was visiting us for the long New Year’s weekend, for doing his research and learning that Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was running preview shows through mid-January…and myself for learning that they sell $32 student rush tickets two hours before the show.

Even better, we got box seats. You know, like those seats off to the side where you sit to be seen by high-society. Yeah. And silly me, without my mink fur wrap!

And bestest, Scarlett Johansson played the lead role of Maggie! I studied Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (as well as Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie) in my college Honors Southern Literature course. But they always teach us that plays are meant to be seen, not read, so needless to say, I was super-pumped for some alcoholism, domestic violence, suppressed homosexuality, and unhappy matrimony to go down on stage. All while dispelling the myth of the Southern gentility.

I was not disappointed. Despite being a native New Yorker, Scarlett (we were in the same room for a few hours, so now we’re on a first name basis) pulled off the frustrated Southern belle role perfectly. Our seats were a little off to the side, slightly obstructed by part of the show’s lights/sound system, but I kind of liked that angle. It was like being a fly on the wall, taking in all the action from just above.

At one point in her lengthy First Act monologue, Scarlett looked up in the direction of our box. And I know that the spotlight shining down on her from us made it impossible to see us distinctly, but I’m pretty sure she made eye contact with me for a solid minute. Or maybe she was eyeing Ryan, as he claims, but whatever. We shared a moment, me and Scarlett Johansson.

Some other somewhat well-known actors were also in the play, so I guess I technically saw more than three famous people that day. Cast members included the dude who played the title role in Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter as Maggie’s husband Brick, the Irish actor who played Dumbledore’s brother in the Harry Potter films as Big Daddy (that’s so great…Sean and I decided we are going to be “Big Daddy” and “Big Momma” when we’re grandparents), and the actress who played one of popular girls at Chilton Prep in several seasons of Gilmore Girls as Mae.

So anyway, I totally recommend the show. We’d been wanting to see a play (non-musical) in New York, and this was an excellent choice. Although watching live plays tends to stress me out because there’s just SO. MUCH. EMOTION. Especially in Tennessee Williams. “Mendacity is the system that we live in. Liquor is one way out, and death is the other.” “I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage.” My gosh.

Also, if you have any doubts that celebrities are actually as gorgeous in real life as they are on screen, let me assure you. They are. Scarlett is probably one of the few contemporary actresses who could pull off that retro hairdo so well. She’s really, truly stunning.

Aaaand because we had the best usher ever, we also saw among our fellow audience members…

Famous Person No. 2: James Franco

james_franco_daddyI mainly think of James Franco as Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s best high school friend who goes evil villian. (I don’t go to the movies very often.) I also kind of think James Franco is probably really pretentious, because he has like 16 degrees in creative writing and is working on getting his PhD from Yale. However, he’s also directing a film adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, which we also studied in my Southern Lit class and which JAMES FRANCO BETTER NOT MESS UP BECAUSE IT IS MY FAVORITE FAULKNER NOVEL, OKAY? I guess I could have come down from my box seat to tell him that, but something tells me with all his degrees, he probably understands more than I do about the novel.

You know. Maybe James Franco is really a big fan of Southern literature.

The above picture is not from James Franco’s play-viewing. If you want to know, he was wearing a black pea coat, black-and-white striped scarf, and looked overwhelmingly normal.

Famous Person No. 3 (and my favorite!): Amy Poehler!!!!!

Amy Poehler gets exclamation points because I. Adore. Her. Parks and Recreation is probably my favorite current TV show, and Sean and I watch the new episodes religiously each week as they post them on NBC.com. If you’ve never watched it, you should. The first season is not as great, but as the show continues on, it’s pretty classic.

We saw Ms. Poehler at a Sunday evening performance of her improv troupe ASSSSCAT 3000 (yes, that is really the name) at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Tickets were $10 for reserved seats, or you can go to the later show and wait in line for the chance of scoring free tickets.

I knew it was her troupe, but also that she is busy with her TV show and two children and splits her time between L.A. and New York, so I didn’t really think she would be there that close to the holidays. But as it was the last show of 2012, guys…she was there. Amy Poehler was there, fifteen feet in front of me, making jokes on the fly.

When they finally lowered the intro music and made an announcement that the show would begin, and a little blonde lady bounced out from backstage and squealed “How’s everybody doing tonight?!?!” and everyone started screaming, my mental reaction was: OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD IS IT REALLY IT CAN’T BE IT’S AMY POEHLER!!!!!

Amy-Poehler

Like, it was probably one of the best days of my life. No lie.

And guys, Amy Poehler is hilarious in real life. Doing live improvisational comedy. She is a genuinely talented lady, and I admire her quick wit.

Also, Ben Schwartz, who plays Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Rec (below, right) was a special guest actor at the show! The skits between Ben and Amy (again, same room = first name basis) were priceless.

To be honest, the entire improv troupe that night was amazing. I definitely recommend checking it out. For $10 or free, you can’t beat it. There are moments when your insides will hurt from laughing so much.

Now, if only I could run into Joseph Gordon-Levitt at a coffee shop…

jgl-eyecandy-1

I don’t know. I feel like we could be friends. Or Tina Fey. That would be cool, too. I’m not picky about my famous-people-run-ins.

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