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It’s a big weekend for James Franco fans. The multi-multi-hyphenate hosts Saturday Night Live with musical guest Nicki Minaj 11:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC. On Sunday, he strips down and heads into the woods with his buddy Seth Rogen for a very special episode of Naked and Afraid 8 p.m. Eastern on Discovery.


JAMES FRANCO and SETH ROGEN’s controversial new movie could be to blame for the headline-grabbing hack attack on Sony Pictures.
The movie giant’s databases were compromised last week (ends30Nov14) and reports suggested the perpetrators had stolen files featuring the personal details of stars including Cameron Diaz.

Cyber thieves also posted online stolen films they acquired in the hack, including Fury and the forthcoming adaptation of Annie, which led to millions of illegal downloads through pirate sites.

It is now believed the attack may have been carried out by officials in North Korea in revenge over Franco and Rogen’s latest comedy, The Interview, which tells the fictional story of two men who try to assassinate the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un.

North Korean government representatives have slammed the film and branded it an act of war and an “undisguised sponsoring of terrorism”.

And when quizzed about the cyber attack, North Korea’s United Nations mission refused to deny the rumour, saying, “I kindly advise you to just wait and see.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers are investigating the incident.


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There’s one drama on James Franco’s resume that made the actor tear up watching it.

Not because of his soulful performance in “The Color of Time,” but the pride he has in the filmmakers behind it — Franco’s former students from the graduate film program at NYU.

“I remember after seeing it, at the end I was pretty embarrassed because I was actually crying a little bit and I never do that,” Franco tells the Daily News of the film’s premiere at the Rome Film Festival two years ago.

“It was really a proud teacher moment. It took me a couple of seconds to stand up because I was a little teary eyed by the end of that screening.”

You couldn’t script a story like the one behind the student film that finally arrives in New York in December: Franco rounded up a band of his students and several former classmates from his own time at the NYU program, also enlisting famous acting peers like Mila Kunis and Jessica Chastain.

“There are a lot of people who would look at a project like this and say, ‘You’re going to take 12 really strong willed people who are all here because they have a very specific vision and you’re going to make something that is one voice out of that?,’” says Pamela Romanowsky, 31, one of the directing dozen. “It’s a challenge and a risk, and James is the kind of person who loves a challenge and a risk.”

Right from the first act of the movie adaptation of C.K. Williams’ poetry, the fledgling filmmakers got the kind of education you can’t get in a classroom.

When Franco went off to Detroit to film “Oz the Great and Powerful” in 2011, his students followed him to snag time with their teacher each night at 8 p.m. after he wrapped filming his Hollywood tentpole flick.

“The budget was so low on this film, that I drove the first equipment truck with one of the line producers from New York to Detroit through a blizzard,” says Shruti Ganguli, 32, who was drafted to be a first-time producer since she was earning an MBA at NYU at the same time as her film degree.

“I learned what ‘hydroplaning’ was when it happened to me.”

It helped that Franco doubled as a casting director. When co-director Gabrielle Demeestere needed to stock a convenience store clerk to shoot her segment, “James was like, ‘Oh why don’t we just have (his ‘Oz’ co-star) Bruce Campbell and this hilarious Detroit driver in Detroit and we can just have the two of them?’

“I didn’t know what to expect but they were amazing bantering improvers,” adds the Brooklyn-based NYU grad.

Armed with a budget less than the catering bill on a Hollywood production, the students split into two teams — quarterbacked by cinematographers Pedro Gomez Millan and Bruce Thierry Cheung — to get it done in the two allotted weeks. Everyone pitched in with multiple jobs, says 29-year-old co-director Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo, who says that when he wasn’t directing his own segment, he doubled as a script supervisor for another director.

Franco, 36, may have a rep for flitting from school to school as a teacher, but the Hollywood renaissance man has stayed in many students’ lives long after “The Color of Time” wrapped. He’s acted in several of his former pupils’ following feature films, including Demeestere’s “Yosemite” and Romanowsky’s “The Adderall Diaries.”

“When James says he wants to collaborate with you, that’s a big thing for someone who’s starting out,” says Millan.

Franco may be somewhat of a film-making Yoda, but he downplays his role as just a “hands-off producer.”

“I just think it’s a way for me to use my place in the entertainment industry to help students get their projects off the ground,” he says.

You should know…

“The Color of Time” can be seen on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video from Dec. 2, is available On Demand from Dec. 9 and hits select theaters on Dec. 12.

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James Franco keeps it cool and casual in a leather jacket while attending his James Franco: New Film Stills Exhibition Opening held at the Galerie Cinema on Tuesday (November 25) in Paris, France.

The 36-year-old actor showcased his series of silver prints made in 2013, where he recreates the Untitled Film Stills by Cindy Sherman – the exhibit will be on view until January 3rd!

James Franco puts his arm around Kim Jong-un (actor Randall Park) while partying it up in the new trailer for his movie The Interview.

In the trailer, we find out James‘ character Dave Skylark and Kim Jong-un have a mutual adoration of the Katy Perry song “Firework,” which begins their friendship.

The plot of the film sends Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen), who run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight,” to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

The comedy will be released on Christmas Day.


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James Franco and Seth Rogen are Skylark and Aaron in ‘The Interview’, with hilarious results.
‘The Interview’ has already become arguably the most controversial comedy of the moment, with its less than sensitive approach to the crisis in North Korea. Nonetheless, it’s another tremendously funny venture from a comedy duo we just can’t get enough of.
James Franco and Seth Rogen appear to be simply inseparable at the moment; having been best buddies since meeting on the set of late nineties show ‘Freaks and Geeks’, the pair have collaborated on numerous projects such as 2008’s Golden Globe nominated ‘Pineapple Express’, Evan Goldberg’s memorable ‘This Is the End’ (in which they play themselves) and Franco’s own film adaptation of William Faulkner’s ‘The Sound and the Fury’ (yeah, we couldn’t imagine them doing ‘serious’ either).
‘Franco’s the best, we get along really well, we’re funny together’, Rogen admits of his friendship with the Oscar winning star. And that joint humour that they share certainly hasn’t been missed by their co-stars on ‘The Interview’, as Diana Bang insists ‘seeing Seth and James work is a masterclass in improv’.
While ‘The Interview’ – which sees the pair play ‘superficial’ talk show presenter Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapaport who land the chance to meet their number one fan Kim Jong Un and are subsequently asked to assassinate him by the CIA – treads on thin ice with its main theme, there really couldn’t be a better duo to lend their cheeky comedic charm. ‘Franco and Seth, as actors themselves and the two characters created for the movie, both have the thing that audiences love’, producer James Weaver explains. ‘It’s friendship. It feels real and genuine because it is and it’s also incredibly unique and hilarious
Individually, they are perfect for their respective roles too, with director Evan Goldberg explaining that Franco was the best guy to play Skylark ‘because Franco’s crazy and so is his character’. Even co-star Lizzy Caplan – who plays the seductive Agent Lacey – admits: ‘I feel like Franco’s been gearing up to unleash this character on the world.’
The fun doesn’t stop at ‘The Interview’ either; you’ll be seeing a lot more from Franco and Rogen in the coming months as they currently film for Goldberg’s forthcoming animated comedy entitled ‘Sausage Party’, as well as James Franco’s upcoming flick ‘Zeroville’.
‘The Interview’ is set to hit movie theaters on February 6th 2015.


“He’s almost embarrassed by how weird he knows he comes across as,” Rogen tells David Letterman on CBS’s “Late Show” Monday night

Seth Rogen and James Franco are more than frequent co-stars, they’re friends as well. So it came from a place of love when Rogen told David Letterman on CBS’s “Late Show” Monday night about Franco, “He’s a weird guy.”
“He’s very smart, and I think he’s a lot weirder on paper than he is in real life,” Rogen clarified. “Like, if you list all the weird sh-t about him, there’s a lot of it, but when you’re actually talking to him, he’s not that weird.

“He’s almost embarrassed by how weird he knows he comes across as,” he went on to reveal. But not so embarrassed that Franco curbs his myriad passions.
He’s still in school. He’s 37,” Rogen laughed. “That’s super weird.”

When they were talking about Franco’s relationship with Rogen’s wife, Lauren, Seth insisted it is perfectly friendly. ”There’s a slight love triangle dynamic that does develop a little bit. She likes James very much.”

He joked that the only thing they had to worry about was whether or not Franco would read to them. “He has books around, he reads a lot. My wife loves him — not too much, just the right amount,” he stressed.

Seth Rogen co-stars with James Franco in “The Interview,” hitting theaters Thursday, Dec. 25. “Late Show with David Letterman” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Go behind-the-scenes with James Franco and Seth Rogen in a new featurette for The Interview.

The action-comedy doesn’t arrive in cinemas until 2015 but you can get an early glimpse of the movie from the new featurette. It’s packed with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Frano and Rogen.

The synopsis for the movie is:

Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate

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James Franco loves a good phone picture and his recent visit to Hong Kong presented the perfect subject.
The Hollywood actor used his time in Asia to take in the sights of the recent democracy protests, known to many as the Umbrella Movement.
James was spotted walking through the tents and shelters at Admiralty on Friday.
The controversial character walked through the Occupy Central protest site, stopping to take pictures of the then quiet scene.
Despite his penchant for posting his pictures online, these seem to be for his personal collection.
James kept his head down as he walked through the tented area in dark glasses and a grey beanie.
He appeared to be keeping a low profile in a black leather jacket, white T-shirt and jeans.
The movement first started at the end of September this year, after the Hong Kong government refused to offer free elections to the people

The people taking to the street were predominantly students who objected to new reforms being introduced to China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
With the campaign taking over several major city intersections, support is reportedly waning with locals.
Although there is has been no indication of when the protest may end, it seems James wanted to make the most of the sight while he was in town.
Fans on Instagram were keen to thank him for visiting.
One wrote, ‘Thank for supporting the occupy central event in admiralty thank u so much.’
While another commented on one of his pictures, ‘#umbrellamovement thanks James Franco!’

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James Franco, Martin Freeman, and Amy Adams will be the final three Saturday Night Live hosts of the year, NBC announced Thursday. Franco will host the Dec. 6 show with Nicki Minaj as musical guest.
The following week, Hobbit and Sherlock star Freeman will be accompanied by Charli XCX. Adams will host the final show before Christmas Dec. 20 with musical guest One Direction, so look out for screaming teens around 30 Rock that week.
Franco has hosted twice already and Adams, who will be promoting Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, has hosted once. Freeman’s show will be his first time hosting.

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managed to draw attention with their upcoming film, “The Color of Time.”
The biographic drama tells the poetic story of writer C.K. Williams, including the most poignant and problematic moments of his life. Williams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, finds a rebirth in this forthcoming film pulling from his memorable “The Color of Time” body of work.
Viewers can expect a heartfelt cinematic journey through 11 of the poet’s works in this series, but really a narrative about his character.
The film races from Williams’ childhood and adolescent years in Detroit during the 1940s and 50s to the early 1980s. Franco steps into the role of the talented writer, who eventually marries Catherine Mauger, played by Kunis.
But this feature will vacillate between the past and present (hopefully with ease.)
The emotional parts of the film are punctuated by voice-overs from Williams’ poems, merging memories and moments in a unique way. And at its heart, “The Color of Time” is the bemusing tale of one man’s life broken into fragments like puzzle pieces.
Scenes show Williams’ passing many nights with writer’s block, struggling to craft and create work. Other moments give glimpses into the things of his past that haunted him.
One standout section reveals the famed poet preparing for a reading of “Tar” in New York City, reflecting on the paramount points of his life.
And through this retrospection, viewers come to know and understand Williams; there are entry points into his various relationships, the women in his life, as well as his thoughts on love and loss.
Jessica Chastain, Zach Braff, Henry Hopper and Bruce Campbell also star in the film.

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