Question: What do Samuel Johnson and James Franco have in common?
James Franco is a young actor who is apparently good-looking, talented, and successful. He has appeared in such films as Eat, Pray, Love and Spider-Man 3. He was recently on General Hospital. He might be the Riddler in the new Batman film. He has recently published a collection of short stories. He was accepted into a PhD program at Yale.
He is wealthy and famous, in other words, and could probably get any woman he wants, any time. There are women who sleep with famous people, I have heard. There is probably a service which one can use to procure the company of such women, whenever it pleases you. I wouldn't know. He probably has enough female friends that, should the mood strike him, he could ring them up and say, "Heeeyy bay-bee, whyn'tcha come on over an' hol' me tight, ya know?"
That is how I imagine him talking.
And yet... none of those supposed women can quite match the beauty and wonder of...
I spend a fair amount of time alone, especially when I travel maybe to something like this or for work or whatever, but I’m in hotels a lot for a lot of my life. And I don’t mind it because I have a lot of stuff to do on my own. I have a lot of reading to do for school or whatever. [pause, laughs] You asked! So, when I’m alone, I do masturbate a lot. I don’t know why. It’s like you have those days where it’s just like, I have a ton of writing to do, or a ton of reading to do, and you’re just like, OK, I’m going to be on the couch all day or in bed all day just doing that… I tend to have a four- or five-time day. [breaks out laughing]This quote comes from an interview in which Mr. Franco is promoting his new film 127 Hours, which is not, as I first thought, a sequel to Another 48 HRS. It is about that hiker who got stuck under a rock for, I suppose, 127 hours exactly. The quote constitutes much of his response to the question of whether or not the character that he plays (the hiker who got stuck under a rock for, I suppose, 127 hours exactly, please pay attention), masturbated while stuck there.
Mr. Franco claims to masturbate four or five times a day. I think he's bragging. I think he's said this for publicity. Then again, eccentric artists are prone to recording as much about themselves as possible. Samuel Johnson (creator of the first dictionary) apparently recorded many of his masturbation exercises in his diary.
As to sexual exeriences [sic], in Johnson’s diary he uses the code “M” and [Johnson biographer] Nokes persuades me these are him recording his times of masturbation. Why someone would record this sort of thing is a puzzle to me, but then why do I write so much? Each of us has to cope with being alive as best we can and I feel Nokes suggests (but does not say directly) such records for Johnson come out of “loneliness”.So Mr. Franco has that in common with Mr. Johnson. I wonder if masturbation is a pre-requisite for the creation of great art? Oh gosh I hope so.
Answer: They both like to read.
Samuel Johnson pic source.
James Franco pic source.
Bonus: Doesn't James Franco bear an uncanny resemblance to the great comic book creator Chris Wisnia?
James Franco doppelganger Chris Wisnia with the brilliant Spain Rodriguez at some nerdy comic book-related event.
Chris Wisnia pic source.