James Franco super fan, Macy Armstrong, tells us about her memorable encounters with the movie star…….
What is it about James Franco and his work that initially drew you to becoming a huge fan of his?
I initially became a fan of his after watching 127 Hours, one of my favourite films. I was drawn to his performance and had known a bit about him. I used that to begin my search, to learn more about him. Through that, I became more and more interested in his career and academic pursuits, his persona as well as his body of work.
Outside ‘The Late Show’, James saw your artwork when you met him, can you tell us a little bit about what happened and what that experience was like?
That was a really nice experience. There were previous experiences that led up to that moment but that time meeting him in particular was very sweet. I had brought a couple pieces from Toronto to New York to show him. Before James’ appearance on The Late Show, I had to chance to see him, along with other very sweet fans. He approached us and, as always, began signing. When he got to me he said something along the times of “Those are so good. Can I buy them?” to which I probably responded with an “of course” or “thank you.” He had his assistant take a photo with us before he took the pieces to his car. It was a very encouraging and warm experience.
What have your other experiences been like when meeting him? Anything memorable that you can share?
I think the first time I met really set off the tone for my experience as a fan. It was in September 2011, at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it was the first time I brought artwork for him. It was such an exciting day. He was doing an interview to discuss My Own Private River/Memories of Idaho with Gus Van Sant and he had just gotten into the room when I lifted up a piece of artwork. Right away, he pointed and smiled. He sat down and said he wanted to buy them a couple times. I just nodded and said okay, too excited to make sense of what was happening. The interview began and when the audience Q&A came up, I had the chance to ask him questions about his cats and directing. I even made him laugh which was very sweet. Once the interview ended, he said he wanted to buy my artwork again. I told him he could just have them. I gave them to someone from his team and gave them my information, as per James’ request. That was definitely my favourite memory. There had been many others spread out from then until now, including him doing a portrait of me, him kissing me on the cheek, seeing one of my pieces incorporated into once of his artworks at a gallery, him introducing me to crowds (at book signings, movie premieres, etc), getting to talk to him on Instagram, getting a thank you video from him that was pretty hilarious. It’s been fun and I only hope for it to continue to progress.
Is there a particular project/film of Franco’s that you really enjoy? Why?
I always love thinking of ‘Spring Breaker’s because I had the chance to attend the premiere. Not only was it a beautifully crafted and thought-provoking film, but having the attached exciting memory of being there in such an energetic crowd and seeing Harmony Korine and the cast talk about it afterwards heightened the experience further.
‘127 Hours’ remains my favourite Franco film, though. I still think about it to this day. James’ performance was mesmerizing, Danny Boyle’s stylistic approach to telling such a story in such a confined space, the score, everything about it felt perfectly crafted.
What do you think of the way the media likes to portray Franco? Is there a misconception that people tend to have about him?
I think the media portrays him as a heightened version of how he portrays himself. He has said before that his persona is half of his creation. Some of the elements to his persona are directly related to things he’s done, others are abstract, sometimes false interpretations of him. The way he is portrayed is very much a satire of who he is, or at least who I’ve gotten to know him to be (through a lot of research, a lot of information sent to me, meeting him and other sources).
I’ve found there are many different views on him. A lot of these ideas are based off of a single event or detail they know or have heard about him so often they are very misinformed.
Recently there was a ‘scandal’ that involved Franco and his Instagram account, what were your thoughts and feelings about this? Should it have been made a big deal like it was?
I think he deserves privacy when it comes to such parts of his life and it was unfair for the conversation to be made public. That being said, he did use a social media account as the base for the interaction so he was subject to public opinion. He used a lack of precaution and unfortunately he had to deal with the consequences.
What are your interests and hobbies?
I’m a film student. I try to immerse myself in film as much as possible. I love to paint and create visual arts. I try my hand at graphic design and web design. Overall, I just like to be productive and try to be as active as possible, trying as many creative forms as I can.
Are there certain musicians that you like? Genres etc…
I’m a fan of the oldies. I love Elton John, Queen, Bob Dylan, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, ABBA, etc. I also really love movie soundtracks. The ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ soundtrack is my absolute favourite. I listen to it everyday.
If you had to pick 3 James Franco films to watch for the rest of your life, which would they be and why?
‘127 Hours’, because I adore it. ‘This Is The End’ because it makes me laugh every single time I watch it. I love the set-up and the extreme nature of it all. And ‘Milk’ because the ending is so beautiful and it’s such an inspiring story.
If given the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go to and why?
I haven’t had the chance to go too far, at least not to a different continent but I really want to go to India. The culture and aesthetic is so captivating and I’d really love to experience that first hand.
- Check out Macy’s tumblr blog if you want to see more things James Franco!
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