Things are about to get a little more interesting — on more than one level — on “General Hospital,” thanks to Franco.
Franco the character and James Franco, the actor who plays him, return to the ABC soap opera on Wednesday (June 30). The character is bent on revenge against Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) from his last stint in Port Charles, and Franco himself is also approaching his stint as not just an acting job, but also as a performance art piece.
“The reaction to me being on [last fall] was, I don’t know, one of surprise — people couldn’t understand why I was on ‘General Hospital,'” Franco tells Zap2it. “So I wanted to take all that and push it even farther. So I talked to Jeffrey Deitch, who’s the new head of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and we started discussing how we could turn it into an art project. We basically figured out that we wanted to film a special episode at MOCA.”
That all went down last week at MOCA’s branch at L.A.’s Pacific Design Center. James Franco filmed scenes for the climax to Franco’s arc on the show while a live audience looked on, essentially becoming part of the performance-art piece. James Franco is also making a film about his time on the show, which MOCA will show when it’s finished.
Franco says he doesn’t approach the acting aspect of his work any differently, but the fact that his character is named Franco tends to blur the lines between fiction and reality: “Every time you hear ‘Franco,’ you’re inevitably reminded that the guy playing the character is named Franco. So you’re aware that it’s me as an actor. What that’s doing is kind of puling in the real world in a strange way. … It’s art in a certain way because lines are being crossed and different worlds are being pulled together.”
As for the character Franco, he’s once again up to no good. After Jason rejected his murder-as-art scheme last fall, Franco “blew up his own studio and left town,” Franco says. “Now Franco is back and he’s out for revenge, and he’s also planning a huge art show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., where we actually shot. This art show involves sculptures Franco made that are based on the locations where he lived and interacted with Jason, and he plans to murder Jason at MOCA and film it as art.”
Franco’s arc on “General Hospital” is slated to culminate with the MOCA episode on July 22. Here’s a clip from his return on Wednesday: