June 11th, 2012
03:55 PM ET
[The following post is an excerpt from a longer interview conducted on The Dinner Party, a national public radio show about culture.]
Thirteen years ago, James Franco was one of the stars on the cult TV show "Freaks and Geeks." He went on to co-star in the "Spider-Man" movie franchise, earned raves in Gus Van Sant’s "Milk," and got an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film "127 Hours."
Over the last few years, he’s also become notorious for an avalanche of creative work across artistic fields – he’s published short stories, directed dance pieces and exhibited multimedia art, all while working on degrees from Columbia and Yale.
This month, he has an exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. It’s called “Rebel” – a series of collaborations with artists like Ed Ruscha, with a theme centered around the classic James Dean movie "Rebel Without a Cause."
The Dinner Party: What question are you tired of being asked in interviews?
James Franco: You can ask me most things, [but] here’s what I don’t like: When [media] outlets try to criticize me [for getting a lot of publicity], but really they are also capitalizing on the fact that a story about me will get eyes on their page, or readers.
They’re using me, and using exactly what they are trying to criticize, to get publicity for themselves. Those to me are the biggest phonies, and I wish they would just… stay away from me. (LAUGHS)
TDP: Tell us something that we don’t know. It can be something about yourself you haven’t revealed in interviews, or something about the world at large.
JF: Gosh...I do reveal a lot... uh... generally when I travel, I sleep on the couch. I don’t like sleeping in a bed.
TDP: Why don’t you like sleeping on a bed?
JF: It feels really sad, to me, to go to a dark bedroom. It’s like surrendering to the night or something. I like to fall asleep either reading or watching a film or something and...
TDP: …So you feel like you’ve milked the most out of the day?
TDP: That’s not surprising from a guy who's getting multiple [college] degrees!
JF: And part of that comes from way back when I was 18 or 19 and I left school. I had this feeling that I needed to prove that it was OK that I left, by working harder than I had when I was in school. And now that I’ve gone back to school, and I feel satisfied with some of the work I’ve done, you’d think I’d be able to relax now. But I think it’s just kind of a habit now. I still don’t like going to bed alone.
TDP: Take a vacation, man.
JF: Yeah, I should.
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