Hollywood funnyman Judd Apatow has been busy making the PR rounds on behalf of I Found This Funny, a collection of curated essays scheduled to be published November 1st by McSweeney’s. While some of the book’s content is quite serious, the 42-year-old literary virgin’s recollections of his muse James Franco are anything but.
Apatow tells The New Yorker how he came to realize that his friend and long-time collaborator, a leading contender in this year’s Best Actor race, was more than just a pretty face:
“I remember when James was on the set of Freaks and Geeks and in between takes he’d be reading Freud and I would think, ‘Is he actually reading Freud, or is he trying to impress people? Is he actually processing this information?’ And he proved that he was not kidding.”
Franco, whose ridiculously impressive academic writing pursuits have encompassed the campuses of UCLA, Columbia, Brooklyn College, Warren Wilson College and Yale, shared suggestions with Apatow for the book and passed on recommendations from some his professors. But when it comes to this unlikely and multi-layered intersection of Hollywood and the literary arts, we have another thought.
If Franco goes on to win an Academy Award for his portrayal of mountain climber Aron Ralston in 127 Hours, the actor should thank Freud in his acceptance speech. When it comes to surviving the pitfalls of Hollywood, there is arguably no better “life coach.”