James Franco is a man of myriad creative pursuits. There are, of course, his many on-screen appearances -- his humorous performances on "Freaks and Geeks," "Pineapple Express," to more dramatic turns in Sam Raimi's "Spider Man" films,"127 Hours," "True Story" and more. Then there was his stint on "General Hospital" as a serial killer, his Broadway run on "Of Mice and Men," his art, his writing and his directing. And he also happens to be in a band.
If you're wondering what drives his polymathic tendencies, a good place to start might be this short film, the latest in BBH L.A.'s work for Google Play and California Sunday. Here, Franco talks about growing up in Palo Alto, California as the son of a children's book author and a techie. The latter, his father, Franco says was always working on multiple projects, just as the actor does today. As a kid, he was given to vandalizing and thieving (cologne, of all things), and after becoming a ward of the court he started to channel his creative energies into pursuits such as filmmaking and storytelling.
Now, "all the things I do, I think they're kind of connected in one way or another," he says. "At least in my head, what I'm trying to do is just find the best forum for it, but maybe it looks like I'm just kind of a mad scientist gone off the rails."
The film, directed by Julian Glander, is a fun addition to the Google Play/California Sunday series of animated videos that look into the creative roots of many California-born or -nurtured creative types, including Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, Director Mike Mills and Actor/Musician Jack Black.