Actors Anonymous

James Franco
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ISBN 9780571311705 Format Paperback
Published 04/06/2015 Length 304 pages

About Book

Inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous's 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, Actors Anonymous is a dark, genre-bending work that mixes memoir and pure invention in an audacious examination of celebrity, acting and the making of fiction.

Actors Anonymous is unsettling, funny and personal - a series of stories told in many forms: a McDonald's drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers putting a camera in the hands of a patient obsessed with horror films; a vampire-flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor, who may have killed his father and gone on the run.

The book contains profound insights into the nature and purpose of acting. Franco mercilessly turns his 'James Franco' persona inside out while, at the same time, providing a fascinating meditation on his art, along with nightmarish tales of excess. 'Hollywood has always been a private club,' he writes. 'I open the gates. I say welcome. I say, Look inside.'

Franco's writing is vivid and disturbing, but what distinguishes his work is the great compassion he extends towards his characters, who he presents in all their raw humanity, while at the same time providing insight into their deeper selves.

  • About James Franco

    James Franco grew up in the northern California town of Palo Alto. He is an actor, director, screenwriter and artist. His film appearances include Milk, Pineapple Express, the Spider-Man trilogy, Howl, Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers, and This Is The End.

    He received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his performance in 127 Hours.

    On television, he starred in the critically acclaimed series Freaks and Geeks and won the Golden Globe award for his portrayal of James Dean in the bio-pic of the actor's life.

    He has written and directed the films, The Broken Tower and an adaptation of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.

    Franco has presented his visual art at galleries in America and Europe, including Psycho Nacirema at London's Pace Gallery.

    His writing has appeared in Esquire, the Wall Street Journal and McSweeney's. He has an MFA from Brooklyn College and has studied in the creative writing MFA programme at Columbia and the film MFA programme at New York University. and is completing a PHD at Yale University.

    His collection of stories, Palo Alto, was published in 2011, and his novel, Actors Anonymous in 2013.

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