James Franco and Matt Taibbi: Leading Full Lives

I recently read long-ish profiles of James Franco and Matt Taibbi. After reading each one, I thought, "They are both leading very full lives." In a good way.

From The James Franco Project in New York magazine:

According to everyone I spoke with, Franco has an unusually high metabolism for productivity. He seems to suffer, or to benefit, from the opposite of ADHD: a superhuman ability to focus that allows him to shuttle quickly between projects and to read happily in the midst of chaos. He hates wasting time—a category that includes, for him, sleeping. (He’ll get a few hours a night, then survive on catnaps, which he can fall into at any second, sometimes even in the middle of a conversation.) He doesn’t drink or smoke or—despite his convincingness in Pineapple Express—do drugs. He’s engineered his life so he can spend all his time either making or learning about art. When I asked people if Franco actually does all of his own homework, some of them literally laughed right out loud at me, because apparently homework is all James Franco ever really wants to do. The photo of him sleeping in class, according to his assistant, wasn’t even from one of his classes: It was an extra lecture he was sitting in on, after a full day of work and school, because he wanted to hear the speaker.

From Lost Exile in Vanity Fair, which is more an overview of a subversive English language newspaper Taibbi ran in Moscow:

Taibbi masqueraded as an executive from the New York Jets and tried to recruit Mikhail Gorbachev to move to New Jersey to become a motivational coach for the team. Later, reporting from Manhattan, he exposed Wall Street’s complicity in 1998’s disastrous ruble devaluation, bought a gorilla suit, walked to Goldman Sachs’s headquarters on Water Street, and sat down on the lobby floor for lunch, announcing to the security guards, “If Goldman Sachs can make a $50 million commission selling worthless Russian debt, then I can come into their offices in a gorilla suit and eat a sandwich on their floor.” The Exile took overt moral stands, too, vigorously opposing most American military actions, including the bombing of Serbia in 1999, when it published a Moscow city map showing the offices of American defense contractors contributing to the war, with the hope of inciting protests. Ames and Taibbi even staged their own protest near the U.S. Embassy. Taibbi held up a “free mike tyson” sign.

I recommend both in their entirety. (Thanks to Rob Montz and Jackie Danicki for sending.)


I had never heard of James Franco prior to reading the article. So I went to YouTube, typed in his name, and watched a bit of his interview with Jimmy Kimmel. With YouTube, it's not about the video. It's about how idiotic and incoherent or otherwise hilarious the comments section will be. For the Kimmel clip, the comments didn't disappoint. The very first one from CrayolaBabez: "I WOULD HAVE CLIMBED THE SIDE OF THE FUCKING BUILDING AND RAPED HIM, HE;S SO BEAUTIFUL. OH MY GOD."

13 comments on “James Franco and Matt Taibbi: Leading Full Lives
  • The James Franco Project was a really exciting and an inspirational read. To make the utmost use of ones time is a learned skill. Something worth learning. Thanks

  • Rarely do I read such long profiles. The James Franco Project was an interesting read. However, you did pull out off the same section I found the most interesting. So, I’ll just read your excerpts from now on.

  • Hell, my ex-housemate from Kyrgyzstan has heard of James Franco, not that it’s anything to be proud of.

    That worshipful piece of literary fellation in New York Magazine is disgusting.

    Franco is one of those people who, even fresh out of the shower, somehow looks dirty to me.

    I do respect the fact he maintains no web presence on Twitter or Facebook or even a blog. Social media is horribly overrated.

    The guy tries so hard to be a latter-day renaissance man, and sprays his creative juice so broadly and effusively. What’s he trying to prove?

    It’s insulting the way he plays coy with his sexuality. Since he’s put so much energy into playing gay, at least he should be as forthcoming (sorry) about whether or not he likes to suck cock as he is about how much Sean Penn liked kissing him in Milk.

    If he admitted he just loves the taste of a hot load of jism in his mouth, now that would be socially useful.

  • So Colin Marshall has joined the chorus of giggly schoolgirls swooning over James Franco, who seems to think he’s some kind of human perpetual motion machine.

    I want to puke when I read phrases like “engineered his life”.

    Franco hasn’t “owned” anyone, and really, he needs a wiser, more judicious friend to put an arm around his shoulder and say, “Look, son, you should cool it. No one is ‘superhuman’, and if you don’t chill just a bit, you’re going to burn out like every supernova.”

    I applaud his ambition, but he’s overreaching.

    I predict that if he keeps up his frenetic pace, within a year or two he will self-destruct in spectacular fashion.

  • Don’t worry; in addition to my approval of James Franco, I maintain a limitless store of anger about James Franco. Because James Franco is… the kind of issue… you get… angry about?

  • Hi Colin, thanks for your reply.

    I’m not angry, I just hate gushing hagiography (which their seems to be a lot of around lately about James Franco) like that Anderson profile.

    Maybe you’re being oversensitive to my use of the word puke?

    After all, you didn’t write the phrase “engineered his life”.

    I really don’t have strong feelings about Franco, I don’t even think he’s that good-looking.;-)

    He’s just being ridiculously and unhealthily hyperactive, to the point of burning himself out and looking like an idiot.


  • Hmm…

    I use preview to read the actual web page within Google Reader without raising another instance of Firefox.

    I can even read and reply to comments, still within the RSS reader, but just discovered that if I hit edit, the comment gets posted.

    A bug?

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