James Franco

Class of 2008

Some A-listers actually get A's

Actor, artist and filmmaker, James Franco is perhaps the face of young Hollywood. While prolific on screen and stage, Franco's lust for education has become equally famous. He started at UCLA, but dropped out after his freshman year to pursue acting. When he returned in 2006, he was thirsty for knowledge. So, he clamored to take extra credit, independent study classes. He tackled a departmental honors thesis, mentored by faculty member and novelist Mona Simpson. When UCLA awarded him his B.A. in English in June 2008, it was only the beginning. Franco set off on an almost mythic quest for education - acquiring several master's degrees in creative writing, filmmaking, poetry and design while also working on two PhDs - proving some actors can't be typecast on or off the screen.

What will be your defining role?
Footage provided by The NY Times Magazine, The New York Times Company.
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