By Nuzhat Naoreen
If you haven't already heard the news (which made us all kinda do a double-take), movie star James Franco jumped off the big screen last month to take a short-term role on ABC's General Hospital, a daytime soap opera.
The move left us grappling with one basic question: Why?
While both James and "GH" execs have been extra-careful to keep quiet on exactly what he'll be doing on set, the "Pineapple Express" star did let a few tiny details slip to New York Magazine's Vulture blog, during a fall gala on Friday. Of course, we plan to analyze every little thing he said as much as possible until we come up with a plausible theory!
To start, we learned that James doesn't know much about soap operas. "I really don't know the difference between [soap operas]," James told the magazine. OK, so that doesn't say much, but then he followed up with a more telling bit. "The one difference is that 'General Hospital' has developed this whole organized-crime thread," he said. Hmm, now we're talking.
Last month, Jori Peterson of ABC Daytime said: "The only thing I can tell you about his character right now is he is playing a mysterious person who comes to Port Charles who will be Jason Morgan's worst nightmare."
Jason Morgan, played by long-time soap star Steve Burton, is a hit man on 'GH.' Now, if James plays his arch-nemesis, we're going to guess he's either a cop or a mobster (we're leaning toward the latter).
James also confirmed that he has not yet had to wear an eye patch for the role (so the pirate theory is definitely out!), and that he hasn't yet been killed off. Although, we think it's fairly safe to assume that in true soap fashion his character will make a dramatic exit. That is, unless James decides to shock us again by sticking around.
James also talked a bit about his much anticipated appearance on NBC's "30 Rock". "I worked with Tina Fey a little bit over the summer on the movie 'Date Night' and I'm assuming she liked the experience and that was why I was asked to do '30 Rock.' I play myself but a very strange version. I don't think it has anything to do with who I actually am."
With 'GH' and '30 Rock,' James seems to be really embracing TV land, but while we're still a little confused about his career choices, we're excited that we don't have to wait for a new movie every couple of months to get our needed dose of Franco.
What are your theories about James' role on "GH"?