H. Jackson Brown once wrote, “Our character is what we do when no one is watching,” which is a really great, honest truth for everyone…except James Franco. I’m pretty sure someone is always watching James Franco, and the latest from the Internet’s Vault of Franco Oddities may be the most viable proof yet.
Not convinced to watch the video? Well, I’ll describe it for you: it’s a three-minute version of your worst night out as an 18-year old, which also happens to serve as a reliable play-by-play of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” video.
Always the Method actor, James dons a flat-brimmed baseball cap, Bieber wig and hoodie while lip-syncing sweet nothings to the camera. As the lights begin to flash and the beats rise, pulsing against the granulated footage YouTube has served my low-quality wifi connection with, Franco’s eyes pull you deep, deep, deep into the darkness that exists between home videos and hero worship. His lips whisper all the right lyrics at the right times, and you may think to yourself “Is he wearing lip gloss? That apartment looks really familiar. Didn’t I wake up in a place like that in Brooklyn Heights once? Is he high? Do I look that scary when I’m high?”
The answers aren’t clear. And the arrival of Ashley Benson doesn’t help. At this point, while Franco and Benson engage in some pretty heavy hair sex, you might not know whether to feel turned on or scared. You might feel both.
I can’t help you with that. You just have to keep watching.
But then maybe you blink, and the next thing you know you’re in a bedroom with James Franco. Ashley Benson is dry-humping the floor, but what’s more painful to watch is her t-shirt, which has been knotted in a way that has been shielded from the eyes of man since 1994. At this point, it becomes achingly apparent that somewhere in Ashley Benson’s recent Google history is a 2:30 A.M. search for archived footage of “YO! MTV Raps.”
It’s okay to feel better about yourself after that. Even if you find yourself considering getting bangs after watching all that hair sex. (It’s a bad idea.) (Don’t do it.)
Near the two-minute mark, the fader effect on iMovie is running at an all-time high and you might find yourself watching multiple Francos in bed. Don’t panic. This is Franco-Bieber at his most vulnerable. You can tell by the open fluidity of his hand-dancing- he’s drawing you closer, pulling you in towards your screen while evading eye contact.
You might get close, but you’ll never get inside the Franco. You’ll always be a third-party, the Green candidate in his threesome.
And then, with a smile and ear bite — it’s over. He’s done with you and you are free to go and return to your desk job as you were…but changed. What you have seen cannot be unseen. What you have learned cannot be unlearned. Image and celebrity are illusions. And you’ll never know someone entirely, but with a video camera, a Justin Bieber wig and Ashley Benson in your apartment, you can get pretty close.