James Franco’s odd decision to appear on “General Hospital” left many people wondering if he was doing some kind of fruity performance art, and in a Wall Street Journal essay today, Franco explains that yes, it was all a piece of fruity performance art.
I finally took the plunge and experimented with [performance art] myself when I signed on to appear on 20 episodes of “General Hospital” as the bad-boy artist “Franco, just Franco.” 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… 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…
[W]hen I wear green makeup and fly across a rooftop in “Spider-Man 3,” I’m working as an actor, but were I to do the same thing on the subway platform, a host of possibilities would open up. Playing the Green Goblin in the subway would no longer be about creating the illusion that I am flying. It would be about inserting myself in a familiar space in such a way that it becomes stranger than fiction.
Whatever dude, I would have WAY rather seen you be the Green Goblin in the subway. I’ve seen a LOT of performance art around New York City, and the performer is always someone who likes the idea of being an artist without the actual talent to paint or sculpt or act. Those people are polyps on society’s colon. Let’s just call what you did “acting” and move on, okay?