James Franco is one on Hollywood's most diverse leading men. Whether weaving a web of magic over audiences in Spiderman, playing an amputee in gritty real-life drama 127 Hours or Harvey Milk's gay lover, James has that certain star quality that keeps us coming back for more.
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But what about the man behind the silver screen personas? Here's five facts you should know about the Oz the Great and Powerful star.1. James was also a bit of a tearaway in his youth. During his time at junior school, he was arrested along with some friends for shoplifting fragrances from a department store and reselling them at school. Ironically, in 2008, he was named the face of Gucci cologne.
2. He's an academic. Not only did James walk a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UCLA when he was 30, he has earned two Master of Fine Arts degrees from Colombia and Brooklyn College for his writing, and a third in film from New York.And he's keen to inspire the next generation, attending various institutes to teach classes, including NYU, where he taught a class about turning poetry into film, and the University of Southern California.3. Despite that, he started out as a drop-out. After graduating from high school in 1996, James briefly attended the University of California to study English and drama. But he dropped out in the first year to to pursue his career in acting. He worked at a McDonalds drive-through to pay for acting lessons, and after 15 months got his big break in TV show Freaks and Geeks.
4. He's a pilot. In preparation for his role in 2006 film Flyboys, James completed his private pilot's license.
5. James has a big heart. He volunteers at the Art of Elysium in Los Angeles, a charity dedicated to helping children with serious medical conditions. In January 2011, he was honoured for his work at the hospital, receiving the Spirit of Elysium award.