DA MAN Style Icon: James Franco

Renaissance Man. Many loyal readers, fashionistos and movie buffs may know James Franco from his blockbuster films such as Milk, 127 Hours, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Pineapple Express or the Spider-Man franchise, but one underhyped role that really made him a style icon was his role in the TV movie, James Dean, where he played the legendary Dean.

james dean movie still, James Franco

To call James Franco multitalented is as much an understatement as saying Manchester United is merely a well-liked soccer club. Not only does he act, sing, write poetry, do abstract paintings, produce films and model clothing, but he’s also highly educated—having graduated from UCLA, later getting an MFA from Columbia and currently finishing up his Ph.D. from Yale—and was a few years ago the spokesman/ambassador for Gucci pour Homme fragrance.

Presently, he’s also the director/producer of the spring-summer 2012 fashion advertising campaign for Seven For All Mankind.

7-for-all- mankind - James Franco, lily donaldson

In terms of his pure style and fashion sense, we go back to his role as James Dean. He literally lived that part a decade ago and it seems to have rubbed off on his sense of style to this day, from the Dean-esque hairstyles and the motorcycle jackets to his general sense of easygoing cool with an underlying vibe of intense intelligence and concentration.

The way he pulls off designer suits on the red carpet with such aplomb are the stuff of legend in Hollywood fashion circles, but he looks just as hip in jeans and T-shirts or sporty mountain-biker gear as he had going in 127 Hours (for at least the first 20 minutes or so).

Franco’s phrases
If the work is good, what does it matter? I’m doing it because I love it. Why not do as many things I love as I can? As long as the work is good.

Teens today rule the world. The whole culture—movies, music—is pointed at young people. They have so much power.

There’s a fear that fame is corrupting, maybe because one is more conscious of critics and how you are received and everything.

As an actor, I got involved largely because I want to let things out. The best acting is that that is most real and the only way to do that, is to genuinely feel it.

I didn’t really know who I was or how to express myself. It wasn’t until I got to L.A. and I found the acting thing. It was like a miracle. It changed me.

I was a big partier, but got bored with it. I guess I was a little freak, a little geek.