Everyone knows James Franco is a busy man. Upcoming projects include the Broadway play Of Mice and Men, the comedy The Interview with Seth Rogen, and Queen of the Desert with Nicole Kidman, among others. And come Sunday, he’ll be able to add yet another line to his resume: Super Bowl commercial star.
Franco – along with comedian Rob Riggle – will be featured in a spot for the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The ad features Franco in the last 60 seconds of the spot, doubling the excitement and energy of Riggle’s first segment. “Rob will be playing himself in part of it, and then I’ll be playing a version of Rob in the other part,” Franco explained to EW. “Super Bowl commercials are almost like little movies nowadays. …In the ad, a lot of the little things in Rob’s portion will have doubles in my portion, but everything will be much grander. He has a chihuahua, I have a Bengal tiger.”
Check out a tease of Franco and the tiger below:
After Sunday’s big game, which Franco won’t be watching because he teaches a cinema class at USC during that time, he’ll soon be New York-bound to begin rehearsals for Of Mice and Men, his Broadway debut.
It’s no surprise that the literary Franco and John Steinbeck’s classic work go way back. “I read it in, I think, ninth grade for the first time in my English class. [Spoiler alert if you've been lying about having read Of Mice and Men] George has to tragically shoot Lennie and the assignment was to write an extra chapter [answering the question,] ‘What does George do after?’ … And I can’t remember if I’m about to describe what I wrote or just what [the teacher] read to us as like, ‘the model student’s’ version, but it was something about George going into town and he goes to the brothel to basically find a human connection and he realizes as much as he might have fooled himself into thinking that Lennie was a burden, in fact that was his one connection to another human. …I think that probably wasn’t me, actually. But I’m going to take it as my own [laughs].”
“I’m a huge Steinbeck fan,” Franco continued about his decision to sign on to the project. “I grew up in Northern California, not exactly in Steinbeck country, but Steinbeck has been a big part of my life for a long time. I guess I liked the relationship with Lennie. I liked that it’s sort of like a dramatic bromance in a way. To me, the most exciting thing [will be] to create that, and develop that relationship with Chris O’Dowd.”
Franco will star in the show until July. Later this year, his latest collaboration with Bound 2 partner Seth Rogen, The Interview, will hit theaters. That film revolves around a talk-show host and his producer who become accidentally embroiled in a plot to assassinate the leader of North Korea – an outrageous topic that started hitting closer to home thanks to Dennis Rodman.
“[Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg] wrote a version of this script before Rodman went to North Korea,” Franco explained about the eerie timing. “It was actually long enough ago it was Kim Jong-Un’s father, Kim Jong-il. And then as this movie went into pre-production Rodman started going over there so it was a very strange coincidence that I think ultimately will make this movie somehow more legitimate. Our movie is already so crazy, but things like that are actually kind of happening so now it isn’t that out there. It’ll just make our movie resonate in different ways. It’ll become a few steps away from just being an outrageous comedy towards, I guess, social satire or something [laughs].”
At the very least, it’s an idea to pose to his cinema class.