James Franco was honored at the Critics’ Choice Awards Thursday night for his performance as eccentric filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist” — but the actor opted to stay away.
The Palo Alto native is reportedly “upset,” “frustrated” and “in a bad place” after becoming the latest powerful man in Hollywood to be accused of s***** misconduct, TMZ reported.
The accusations began almost immediately after his winning a Golden Globe award for “The Disaster Artist” Sunday night. Franco’s efforts to deny the charges in interviews with Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers didn’t stop a lengthy article from being published Thursday in the Los Angeles Times.
In the Times story, five women accused the actor, director and film school teacher of treating young, aspiring actresses and female filmmakers in sexually inappropriate, exploitive ways.
While the choice to present Franco with the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards were likely made before the misconduct allegations broke, he and others around him must be wondering what impact these reports could have on Franco’s awards chances going forward, including with the Academy Awards nominations coming out Jan. 23.
Actually, Screen Daily said, “It would appear an Oscar push has ended,” with sources telling the website that the Academy is monitoring the situation.
But the impact on “The Disaster Artist’s” box office also must be of concern to Franco and to the film’s distributors, A24 and Warner Bros Pictures International. The film is winding down in North American theaters, where it has grossed a healthy $19.6 million since its December 1 release, Screen Daily said.
“Of greater urgency is the film’s international roll-out through Warner Bros Pictures International,” Screen Daily said.
Studio representatives didn’t return the website’s requests for comment.
Franco and the people involved in “The Disaster Artist” should be celebrating right now. That includes Greg Sestero, the Alamo-reared actor who went to Hollywood in the early 2000s to become a movie star, but wound up co-starring in “The Room,” a so-bad-it’s-good cult classic made by Wiseau.
Sestero co-wrote the book “The Disaster Artist” about the making of “The Room.”
That book, in turn, became the basis for the film, directed by Franco and co-starring his younger brother Dave Franco and frequent comedy collaborator Seth Rogen.
The film, described as a sweet comedy about friendship and the creative spirit, has been largely embraced by audiences and critics and should be another high point for Franco’s multi-hyphenate career as an actor, director, screen writer, fiction author and poet.
Instead, Franco is “inconsolable” over allegations that he has said are not true, TMZ said. The actor also is determined to not cast aspersions on the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up anti-s***** harassment initiative, which arose in the wake of misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men in Hollywood.
No doubt, Franco also must be worrying about his other projects, including the HBO drama series “The Deuce.”
Franco stars on the series, occasionally directs episodes and is a producer. The show starts production for season 2 later this year.
HBO has said it is taking a wait-and-see approach, with co-creator and executive producer David Simon telling Variety, “I’m still reading it the same as everyone else, trying to discern what is or isn’t there.”
Simon said he had personally checked in with fellow producers and other personnel and turned up no complaints against Franco. “Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint,” Simon said. “In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”