James Franco on his 'General Hospital' stint: It's performance art
The "Pineapple Express" and "Spider-Man" star says he took a role on the ABC soap opera as an exercise in performance art, a subject he's been fascinated with for years and wanted to experiment with himself.
In an essay for the Wall Street Journal, he writes that his two-month arc, in which he plays a mysterious artist named Franco, is meant to "disrupt the audience's suspension of disbelief."
"No matter how far I got into the character, I was going to be perceived as something that doesn't belong to the incredibly stylized world of soap operas," Franco writes. "... In performance art, the outcome is uncertain -- and this was no exception. My hope was for people to ask themselves if soap operas are really that far from entertainment that is considered critically legitimate. Whether they did was out of my hands."
Franco also discourses on the history of performance art, and notes that in three days of filming on "General Hospital," he got through enough material to run for 23 episodes. He also teases that "There will be one more step."
"After all of the Franco episodes are aired, my character's storyline will be advanced in a special episode filmed in a 'legitimate' New York gallery," he writes. "One more layer will be added to this already layer-heavy experiment. If all goes according to plan, it will definitely be weird. But is it art?"
Good question. What do you think?
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Photo credit: ABC