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August 28, 2015

James Franco's General Hospital bit is performance art?

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 4th 2009 11:26AM
franco_james_general_hospitalIf you had any doubt before, James Franco is taking his guest appearance on General Hospital very seriously. This isn't a stunt or a grab for attention, as some have speculated. It's not even a challenge to see if he could dip into the soap opera world and keep up with the pace and volume of a TV convention that's extremely demanding (250+ episodes a year without reruns). Well, James has written about his goals in the Wall Street Journal and for him, General Hospital is performance art.

I'm sure I'm simplifying what he's writing about because I'm not savvy about the form, but in his own words, he wrote, "I took the plunge and experimented with the form myself when I signed on to appear on 20 episodes of General Hospital as the bad-boy artist."

"...I disrupted the audience's suspension of disbelief, because no matter how far I got into the character, I was going to be perceived as something that doesn't belong to the incredibly stylized world of soap operas. Everyone watching would see an actor they recognized, a real person in a made-up world."

Okay, right there I have to stop. Franco is recognizable as a real person, a star. But soaps have done that before. Liberace was on Another World. Carol Burnett did All My Children. Elizabeth Taylor played Helena on General Hospital. "The incredibly stylized world of soaps" has understood the suspension of belief with bigger stars than James Franco.

James continues, "In performance art, the outcome is uncertain-and this was no exception. My hope was for people to ask themselves if soap operas are really that far from entertainment that is considered critically legitimate. Whether they did was out of my hands."

Coming up next in the GH stint will be a special episode filmed in a "legitimate" New York gallery. One more layer will be added to this already layer-heavy experiment. If all goes according to plan, it will definitely be weird. But is it art?"

Art? I don't know. I hope it's good TV.

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He was really good in the Spiderman movies.

January 06 2010 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the first time I've paid attention to James Franco(don't watch much tv) on General Hospital and I find him so sexy, fascinating, and has such charisma! Wish I could meet him!!! So sexy!!!!

December 18 2009 at 5:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally, I don't think much of his character. I don't think he's that great of an actor. There are a lot of folk out there who work hard on soaps, and who have become tv or film stars. Does he think he's the only actor ever to guest on a soap? Elizabeth Taylor, Carol Burnett, Betty White, etc, etc.

December 05 2009 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What an ego he has. Geesh.

December 04 2009 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Anne

I do not know either, however, I hope Mr. Franco's stint on
GH does not disrupt the hard work( most) soap actors do
on a daily bases. I realize that there will be deaths during "THIS" arc, and with the economy the way it is, I hope no
with a family impacted. Please, someone let Mr. Franco know that back in the day WHEN A STAR, WAS A STAR,
many "fans" did star turns on the soaps, and many stars on Broadway do and did soaps.

December 04 2009 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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