James Franco. Simply typing the letters of his name on my keyboard gives me the willies.
The scruffy, brunette actor had me at hello when I was only a tween, making my heart skip a beat every time I saw his goofy grin appear on the much under-appreciated sitcom, Freaks & Geeks. Then came Spiderman, alongside a slew of other rom-com, stoner flicks & soap opera appearances. There was the movie where he chopped his arm off and the movie I still can’t believe I paid 12 dollars for : Your Highness. He can be serious or seriously funny. Have him play Sean Penn’s gay lover in Milk and he’s still sexy. Make him lose 50 pounds and cake his face with makeup for 127 Hours. I’m still turned on.
So, when it came to picking the first celebrity for my new series, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”, it was as if the answer was written in the stars. Or rather, it was written in James’ Gucci cologne ad on the back of a magazine sitting in our kitchen. Either way, it was my man Franco all the way.
The project of figuring out a meal proved challenging at first, especially because, how am I supposed to know what James likes? What he doesn’t like? If he has any food allergies? As difficult as it is to admit, James Franco is not my friend. I do not actually know James Franco. He is a celebrity and I am a mere mortal. Polar opposites, if you will (And you all know what they say about opposites).
As I put my thinking cap to good use, the ideas came flowing. I was feeling suddenly empowered, as if I were just bitten by a spider, only to infect myself with super-human powers and the ability to shoot webs, crawl up buildings and bake the perfect souflee. I could picture my demise, which would result in an untimely blood bath with my best friend’s father, Norman Osborn, who was unknowingly my arch nemesis in the kitchen.
But what would I cook? I wanted to prepare something homemade, something all my own, something special for James. Then, the lightbulbs. Franco is his last name. That’s Italian. I myself, am half Italian. Boom – Our famous Lolli family recipe for baked rice. James Franco is a very hot man. I enjoy spicy food. Boom – Chicken and Sausage with Hot Peppers.