By Marlena De Lacroix
James Franco to guest star for two months on General Hospital has to be the biggest bombshell news in the decades I’ve watched and written about soaps. I just heard, and it’s fabulous! As much as I love soaps, my mind jumped to wise guy remarks, a la David Letterman’s nightly Top 10.
And I have no shame: here’s my instant Top 10 list. Marlena challenges you to add your remarks after mine, all in good fun, of course.
10. I saw James Franco in his breakout role, James Dean in a TV movie bio of Dean, the first and greatest “younger” star ever. James Dean was a genius; young Franco displayed genius playing him. Have you ever heard the word genius being applied to anyone (yes, even the bravura Anthony Geary) on GH?
9. This casting dispels the Big Lie told by the soap magazines for the 35 years I’ve been reading them, namely that every soap actor is great. Can you imagine Deke Cheatwood in a scene with Franco?
8. Steve Burton on the same stage as Franco? If you thought Burton’s hair stood straight up on his head naturally, you can imagine what it looked like when he heard the news.
7. The rumor is, Franco is doing his short two-month stint to research an upcoming movie role. Are they going to remake Soap Dish? Franco in the Kevin Kline role? Or in the Sally Field (a.k.a. Susan Lucci) role? Can you imagine Franco going to the Paramus Mall to remind himself how popular he is?
6. Did you hear GH executive producer Jill Farren Phelps’ statement that she felt so humbled that Franco would choose to “spend time” on GH? This is the only time this woman has EVER been humbled by anything in her entire life!
5. Who will be Franco’s leading lady? Vanessa Marcil’s name is rumored. That’s a pairing analogous to Sir Anthony Hopkins being teamed with Ashley Simpson-Wentz!
4. Don’t you think Sarah Brown (who is the only actress of the right age who would have been fabulous with Franco) is really sorry she’s leaving GH for The Bold and the Beautiful now?
3. Wasn’t Franco adorable in the best friend part in the Spiderman movies? Who is going to be Franco’s best friend on GH? Maurice Bernard? Laura Wright? (Her Carly is perpetually crooning that she is Jason’s best friend.)
2. Is Franco coming on to GH as part of a deal with Disney, who makes big movies and owns ABC? Who’s next? Mickey Mouse? The Little Mermaid?
1. Hadn’t Franco last left the movie scene to go to school at Columbia University as documented by a gushing article the New York Times? How the heck did Franco ever get from Columbia to … ABC Daytime???? (I know, this isn’t funny, but I’d really like to know!)