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James Franco

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Originally, James Franco started auditioning for high school productions in order to get back at a girlfriend who kissed another boy on stage. We’ll let the vengeful streak slide since it serendipitously motivated this modern-day Renaissance man’s multiple-mediums career. After dropping out of UCLA to study acting in 1997, he started on the small screen in Freaks and Geeks, a gig which introduced him to frequent collaborators Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow and Jason Segal. Playing James Dean in the 2001 TV biopic earned him a lead actor Golden Globe as well as Emmy and SAG nomination. He picks roles all over the genre map from superhero blockbuster (Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy), biopics (Howl, Milk), science fiction (Rise of The Planet Of The Apes), period pieces (Tristan + Isolde), romance (Eat, Pray, Love), comedies (Pineapple Express, which earned him another Globe nomination) and dramas (In The Valley of Elah). In 2010, he earned his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for portraying the climber who was forced to cut off his own arm in 127 Hours. He’s modeled for Gucci, cameoed on 30 Rock, directed short films for R.E.M., produces, authored a couple of books, did multiple guest stints on soap General Hospital after he was an award-winning actor, hosted the Academy Awards in 2011, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a private pilot’s license, paints proficiently, teaches acting, volunteers with Art of Elysium, and has earned multiple degrees (a bachelor’s from UCLA, two master’s in writing from Columbia and Brooklyn College, a master’s in film from NYU).

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