James Franco Turns to ‘General Hospital’ for Performance Art


We’ve always sort of liked actor James Franco, despite this writer’s distrust for people more handsome than himself (see: 99% of the population). He seems like a genuinely likable guy, friendly and maybe not as apt to flaunt his status. And though we have never thought much about him before, now we have a certifiable crush. Found by way of Murketing (who doesn’t entirely buy the whole thing) is Franco’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about his deciding to take a temporarily reoccurring role on the long-running soap opera, “General Hospital,” as a form of performance art, something he’s apparently long been a fan of. Most of the piece is spent talking about his favorite pieces of performance art, with your usual suspects, Yoko Ono and Allan Kaprow, but the great bits are when he talks about why he decided to play “bad-boy artist ‘Franco, just Franco'” on the soap:

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. 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.

No matter if his motives are this pure and artsy or not, we agree with him when he says “If all goes according to plan, it will definitely be weird” and it makes us like him all the more for it.