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7 Completely Oddball Glimpses Into James Franco's Beautiful Mind

He's not a cookie-cutter leading man, that's for sure

James Franco isn't your typical leading man. In addition to acting in Oscar-worthy dramas and hilarious comedies, he spends time as a producer, director, screenwriter, artist, model, musician, student, and college professor. 

The man, whose birthday is today, has done a lot in his 38 years on the planet, and a lot of it actually dispels the myth that to be a leading man, you have to be a cookie-cutter, Stepford-esque man-bot. Franco certainly isn't. 

Check out some examples of what makes the man so unique. 

  1. James Franco, 7-Time College Student
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    Franco, who went to school at UCLA, loved it so much that he went to New York and enrolled in NYU for filmmaking and Columbia and Brooklyn College for fiction writing. He also took classes at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina for a low-residency poetry program, enrolled at Yale for a Ph.D. in English, and also went to Rhode Island School of Design for art classes.

  2. James Franco, College Professor
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    As detailed in his recent Rolling Stone interview, Franco currently teaches classes at two California colleges: USC, where he teaches directing, and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, which he's been doing since 2012.

  3. James Franco, Soap Opera Star

    There are quite a few actors that started out as soap stars, but usually they stop once they become movie stars. Franco did the opposite, starring in General Hospital as the enigmatic artist Franco after he had just filmed a trio of Spider-Man films.

  4. James Franco, Poet & Author
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    James Franco doesn't take a break, y'all. He's released books of poetry, Directing Herbert White and Straight James / Gay James, as well as a novel, Actors Anonymous.

  5. James Franco, Selfie King

    James takes a lot of selfies, often in bed. Of course, he's not just showing off his face like everyone else -- he's doing it for altruistic reasons. "[I]t's one thing I can put out that every paparazzi may want — if they could sneak up to my bedroom window and take a picture, they probably would — but this way, I can do it myself," he said. Keep on doing it.

  6. James Franco, Lead Singer

    In case you didn't know, he started a band called Daddy with an art school buddy, Tim O'Keefe. They're pretty good.

  7. James Franco, Film Director

    It might not seem odd that an actor would become a director since it happens quite often. What's so unique about Franco's situation are the films he chooses to direct. There's one about a famous murder in the gay porn industry (King Cobra, which he's starring in); an adaptation of the novel The Disaster Artist, about the making of alleged worst movie ever made The Room; and an adaptation of the famous Zola Twitter stripper saga.