James Franco ~ Renaissance Man
Some of us are so thick with talent, it's almost impossible to spread ourselves too thin. We are gifted with an endless supply of unbridled ability and a drive that keeps us moving fast forward. In the entertainment world, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles come to mind. Both are triple—maybe quadrupole—threats. They sing, dance, act, and are generally nice, polite, and likable people. Unfortunately, most of us aren't the caretakers of such gifts—myself included. I am not blessed with any natural abilities. I am quite average at writing, athletics, and the arts. I can state confidently that I have only excelled in two arenas e.g. as a college student—top of my class, and as an anorectic—thinnest person not yet in the graveyard. Sadly for me, these two statuses were transitory. Unless one is very wealthy, the campus will need to be abandoned for the real world of employment. And there is no future for an anorexic person. Eventually she will enter a crossroads whereby a choice must be made to to ditch the disorder or shrivel up and die. Heroin addiction plays by those same rules.
What I wouldn't do to have a respectable talent or two coupled with an insatiable ambition to succeed. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Leonardo daVinci were all ripe with talent in many areas. But who comes to mind when we consider the present day? One person clearly fits the bill. His name is James Franco.
That's right, James Franco is a modern day Renaissance Man.
See how I did it
Franco is a film actor, director, screenplay writer, novelist, painter, soap opera star, SNL host, Oscar host, PhD candidate at Yale, Gucci model, performance artist, and bar owner. He can do drama e.g. 127 Hours and comedy e.g. Pineapple Express. He can play it straight e.g. James Dean or play gay e.g. Milk. His credits roll on. His talent seems endless.
So, reflecting on his many accomplishments, I wondered what he should do next. Pilots license sprung to mind. It seems to be something that quite a few Hollywood types have added to their brag boxes e.g. John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, to name a few. I suppose it isn't such a novel thing to do. But still... I could see him up for the challenge. So, I almost fell off the couch in mad-laughter when I read an article last night stating that Franco had indeed got his pilots license to prepare for his 2006 performance in Flyboys.
Anyhow, I thought it would be amusing to make a list of 43 things James Franco should do before he dies.
Here is My List:
1. Play Morrissey in a feature film about The Smiths. Franco looks a lot like Moz as his film characters James Dean and Allen Ginsberg—sporting black rimmed glasses, chiseled cheekbones, and a fabulous saluting quiff.
Or, minus the specs...
Can you say Gorraageeous!
2. Learn to speak Chinese.
3. Run the New York City Marathon.
4. Learn to fly a hot air balloon.
5. Write a cookbook.
6. Donate profits of cookbook sales to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide vaccines to children in third world countries.
7. Then become a guest judge on Top Chef.
8. Launch his own clothing line.
9. Then of course, be a guest judge on Project Runway.
10. Be a contestant on Dancing With The Stars.
11. Be a contestant on Jeopardy. That show is still on, isn't it?
12. Become a vegan for a year or more.
13. Adopt a child from Belarus.
14. Swim the English Channel.
15. Attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
16. Host his own talk show.
17. Establish a sanctuary for farm animals.
18. Run for mayor of Palo Alto, California—his birthplace.
19. Rescue a baby from a well.
20. Successfully perform the Heimlich Maneuver on Donald Trump—saving his life.
21. Join the circus as a trapeze artist for a year or so.
22. Sail the Caribbean with Johnny Depp and spend a week on Depp's private island.
23. Form a garage band.
24. Cut an album.
25. Become a visiting professor of English at Yale.
26. Sing the Star Spangled Banner at the next Superbowl.
27. Become homeless for six months.
28. Invent something that becomes a major, global, gotta-have-it.
29. Live a year amongst Buddhist monks in Nepal.
30. Have a Bar Mitzvah.
31. Donate a kidney.
32. Join Sean Penn in Haiti for six months.
33. Walk on the moon.
34. Join Anthony Bourdain on a No Rez adventure.
35. Join the cast of Flipping Out as Jeff Lewis' house manager.
36. Catch commercial salmon on a fishing vessel in Canada for three months.
37. Become a Scientologist for the fun of it. (*Update mid Feb. : Not serious about this one. Atheist for life would be a better choice.)
38. Design and build his own solar powered home in Northern California.
39. Become a US diplomat.
40. Race a car at NASCAR.
41. Open a chocolate factory.
42. Open a non-profit bakery that bakes medical grade, marijuana-infused brownies for recovering anorectics.
43. Win the Nobel Peace Prize.
You go James! We're pulling for you.
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