What we love about James Franco is that, despite pursuing a Ph.D. at Yale, garnering serious Oscar buzz in "127 Hours" and embodying a Hollywood A-list persona, he's taken time out of his busy schedule to keep up with the trends. That's right, James has both read and watched the "Twilight" books and films, and when MTV News caught up with him at the Toronto International Film Festival where he was promoting "127 Hours," he spent more time talking about the phenomenon than the film's stars typically do.
While he may not be a self-proclaimed Twi-hard after reading the series, James can at least reference Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner on a first name basis (you'd be surprised to find there are celebs out there who can't), and can clearly understand the deeper metaphors of the stories.
"I wouldn't say I enjoy them, but I'm fascinated with them," James said about the books. "I'm interested in the metaphor of the vampire placed in the high school setting and how a relationship with a vampire can stand in for general feelings that people have as teenagers. And the obsession people have with that is also fascinating to me."
James also took some time analyzing the role of the films in the whole "Twilight" craze. "It's really hard to extricate those actors from the reading experience of just the phenomenon of 'Twilight' now," he said. He also gave a shout-out to the self-references of "Eclipse" that we loved so much.
"The movies are almost commenting on themselves," he said. "There will be a scene where the go-to guys, Taylor and Rob, are in the tent, it's almost like a 'Brokeback Mountain' scene, where the two guys are talking in a tent and the girl is asleep, and they're having, like, this romantic moment almost through her, in a way. One of them says, 'Well, I'm hotter than you,' and it's almost like they're winking at the fans, like to the Team Jacob or the Team Edwards."
But he does have one "Twilight" concession to make: He hasn't finished reading "Breaking Dawn." He has heard a bit about the birthing scene ("I kind of know what happens, some very strange birth, right?" he asked rhetorically), but at least his reasoning for calling it quits part way through the book matches our own frustrations when we were reading it the first time!
"I read a part of it. I think I got to the sex scene, but it was so brief, I didn't even know if it was the actual sex scene," he admitted. "It was kind of a letdown after all that buildup."
Were you surprised to find that James Franco was so well-versed in "Twilight" lore? Do you agree with some of his conclusions about the books and films?