Passages from James Franco’s 2013 novel, “Actors Anonymous,” describing how the actor-director allegedly seduced “young girls” began circulating on social media Wednesday night, just days after the recent Golden Globe winner faced allegations of sexual misbehavior by his former acting students.
The Los Angeles Times on Thursday reported that five women, including four former students of Franco, who once ran an acting school, said he took advantage of them and pressured them to engage in sexually charged situations, including expectations of nudity and simulated sex acts.
Franco is denying the allegations, calling them “untrue.”
The novel, which received scathing reviews, is billed as a meditation on acting. The collection of confessional tales by anonymous actors, including Franco himself, blurs the lines between fiction and memoir, but in some chapters, Franco describes in graphic detail how he approaches women.
In one chapter, Franco described how he kept a steady stream of sexual partners: “I had something going with most of my female costars and worked up a routine so that I could see someone every night.”
He said that because of his frequent travel, he managed to meet young women all over the world, including cities like Rome, Portland, New York and Los Angeles.
“One of my favorite approaches was to ask the young girls that requested to take a photo with me to email me a copy of the photo; that way I can give them my info very quickly in front of a crowd of fans and later work out a way to see them.”
He wrote that when he was in Toronto screening his film, “127 Hours,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor, an “okay-looking” girl asked for a picture with him. She later emailed him but he said it was too late to meet because he had already spent the night with a Princeton student who volunteered at the festival.
“In the intervening months she had sent me plenty of photos of her body and especially her a– bent over in a G-string, so when she arrived at my Lower East Side apartment, I was ready and she was ready,” Franco wrote. “Not only did she allow me to do everything I wanted to her, she let me film it on my phone.”
In one particularly relevant passage, Franco described his view of acting teachers, saying they are “f—-d up.”
Wrote Franco: “They are unlike any other teachers, because they deal with their students’ emotions and bodies. They get inside their students’ heads. Even if they have the best intentions, they can’t help from becoming gurus and therapists for their students, because they deal on such intimate terms. When you have a bunch of students looking up to you because you have liberated their emotions, it’s hard not to play the role of mentor/lover/father/mother.”
He also seemed to relish the desirability that celebrity brings.
“I had lots of sex. Lots,” Franco wrote. “Most actors seem to do it, capitalize on their celebrity appeal. It’s funny, lots of guys that become actors were shy or nerdy or sensitive when they were younger, so when they become famous they really cash in to make up for those years when they were overlooked or rejected.”
A call and email seeking comment from Franco’s attorney was not returned Thursday.