It’s been four years since James Franco, 44, faced sexual misconduct allegations and was “canceled.” He’s getting ready to make his return to acting in the post-World War II coming-of-age drama, “Me, You,” adapted from the novel “Tu, Mia” by Erri De Luca. The film will be directed by Bille August and will also star Tom Holland and Daisy Jacob.
His Return to Acting
Franco was cast in the role of a fisherman in the coming-of-age period drama with production set to begin in September. August is known for making 1993’s “The House of the Spirits” and 1998’s “Les Miserables” adaptation. Franco said in a statement, “I am excited to board this phenomenal project and to be working with the legendary Bille August. I’m a huge fan of his work, and ‘Me, You’ is a truly brilliant script.” The film is set in Ischia in the 1950’s and focuses on 16-year-old Marco who spends his days with hardened fisherman Nicola, played by Franco.
Franco is also starring in the upcoming action film, “Mace.”
Being Accused of Sexually Inappropriate Behavior
The “127 Hours” star was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by five women, four of which were his acting students, back in January 2018. Later that month, one of the alleged victims, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, said that Franco “abused his power by exploiting the non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities.” An attorney for Franco denied these allegations at the time saying that Franco’s 2018 comments on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was his formal denial, “The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So I don’t want to, you know, shut them down in any way.”
People reported that two of his former acting students, Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the actor in 2019 stating that Franco and his business partners, “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects” according to court documents.
Los Angeles Superior Court records show that he agreed to pay $2,235,000 in the settlement. Both parties agreed to the joint statement; “While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the Complaint, they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood. All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry – regardless of race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation – faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”
Out of the settlement amount, $894,000 would go to the named plaintiffs and the remaining $1,341,000 would go into a common fund for the rest of the class actions members. The deal was reached in February of this year.
Breaking His Silence and Admitting his Issues
The “Pineapple Express” actor broke his silence in December 2021 on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Podcast.” He explained that he was working on himself and that he struggled with sex addiction for years before becoming sober from alcohol at the age of 17. He also admitted to cheating on everyone before his current relationship with girlfriend Isabel Pakzad. He claimed he could “never be faithful to anybody” and became “completely blind to power dynamics or anything like that, but also completely blind to people’s feelings.”
“Once I couldn’t use alcohol to sort of fill that hole, it was like — oh, success? attention? This is great. And so, in a weird way, I got addicted to validation, I guess, or success, or whatever that is,” Franco told Cagle during the interview. “Attention from women, success with women, also became a huge source of validation for me. The problem with that is like, I’m sure you can guess, like any sort of drug or anything, there’s never enough.”