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In An Op-Ed For 'NYTimes,' James Franco Explores Shia LaBeouf’s Recent Antics

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrities Are Better than You | February 20, 2014 | Comments ()


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I’m not sure why James Franco decided to take to The New York Times to address the antics of Shia LaBeouf, instead of doing what most celebrities do these days: Quip about it on Twitter. But that Franco, he’s better than Twitter. His opinions have value, damnit, and they deserve more than 140 characters. The only appropriate vehicle for the musings of James Franco is the goddamn New York Times, thank you very much.

So why, James, did Shia lash out?

This behavior could be a sign of many things, from a nervous breakdown to mere youthful recklessness. For Mr. LaBeouf’s sake I hope it is nothing serious. Indeed I hope — and, yes, I know that this idea has pretentious or just plain ridiculous overtones — that his actions are intended as a piece of performance art, one in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona.

Yes, James, but how can we bring this all back around to the most important topic at hand, James Franco?

At times I have felt the need to dissociate myself from my work and public image. In 2009, when I joined the soap opera “General Hospital” at the same time as I was working on films that would receive Oscar nominations and other critical acclaim, my decision was in part an effort to jar expectations of what a film actor does and to undermine the tacit — or not so tacit — hierarchy of entertainment.

Now quick, before your audience loses interest, say something painfully obvious, but say it like you’re the first person who ever arrived at this conclusion.

Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.

Participating in this call and response is a kind of critique, a way to show up the media by allowing their oversize responses to essentially trivial actions to reveal the emptiness of their raison d’être. Believe me, this game of peek-a-boo can be very addictive.

And now, say something completely wrong:

I think Mr. LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one.

Thank you, James Franco, for this enlightening therapy session, and for finding yet another outlet for which you can enter our lives. Thank God you have 12 films coming out in the next year, because we were really starting to miss you, since Homefront, three months ago.

Source: NYTimes





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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Debra Kessing

    I have a list. *yay me huh :P* it is not very long but once someone is added to it, they are there for life. It is the list of celebrities that make me want to vomit/scream/runawayrunaway. I cannot watch them in anything, ever. I cannot listen to them. And I cannot read about them without my BP entering the dangerzone.
    Franco & Shia are on my list.
    >>> me retreating from the keyboard before I do it a damage..........

  • Lloyd_The_Bartender

    i just had a image of Franco manipulating LeBeef like a marionette on a dimly lit stage... which then turns out to be a scene from the next Terry Gilliam movie ...
    I probably should stop taking mushrooms at work...

  • Maybe the man we know as Mr. LaBeouf is actually James Franco's project to explore the effect of celebrity. The op-ed piece is simply Franco's admission that he is in fact the puppet master behind "Shia LeBeouf". Shia for, of course, Shyster, and LeBeouf being a derivative of the old French, literally meaning; "the beef". Shyster the Beef. In essence a con, a celebrity piece of meat put on display to be consumed by the public, a mad experiment requiring millions of dollars and years of time to reach fruition all for the edification of one man: James Franco. Oh Franco, you crazed genius! Kudos to you.

    Humanity owes you a nickel.

  • JustOP

    This post seems somewhat ironic given the near-neverending coverage it has gave the boof these past few weeks.

  • RollandsOwn

    Even James Franco has to stick to the New York times' ridiculous and self-important guidelines on honorifics.

  • the dude

    Franco is a really good actor, and for that I forgive everything else

  • Sara_Tonin00

    NYTimes, you are killing me lately. Please, please, please get it together.

  • meadowdancer

    I know! Quit letting freaking actors/directors having hissy fits take over. Ugh.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Franco's next project is just him, alone in a room, with his head firmly inserted in his ass while he lets out squeaky farts.

  • emmalita

    But he would have so much fun doing it that we would all remember that he can be funny and charming. And it would be a nice change from him being up his own ass philosophizing.

  • LittleMissPonderer

    Thank you, Dr. Franco!

  • kinoumenthe

    Pulling a temper tantrum that refuses to die because you were caught red-handed stealing isn't rebellion. Neither is it art.

  • I'm not saying I told you so, but...

    http://www.pajiba.com/pajiba_l...

    My comment there is.

  • Sars

    BEST AVI EVER

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Great. Now start using your powers for good.

  • So...not at all?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Never change, you.

  • pajiba

    Well done!

  • Cheers.
    Although now I'm starting to think I'm part of it too... Just like that Portlandia sketch...

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