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Is James Franco a Meme?

Yes, we were sort of inspired by this funny post from Hipster Runoff. And the fact that we’ve adored him ever since we sat down and watched Freaks and Geeks in its entirety over the course of one delicious, sofa-filled weekend. The final episode, where he plays Dungeons and Dragons with the geeks — without (much) irony — is one of the most touching (and believable) portrayals of high school life we’ve ever witnessed on the small screen. Plus we love him for being so gay in Milk and so fugly in Pineapple Express.

In short, we’re Francophiles. Or at least we thought we were, until we noticed the generous amount of coverage he’s been getting on other sites over the past few weeks. It’s odd. We almost feel out of the loop and we’d hate for you to feel the same way. Ergo, after the jump, the five things you need to know about James Franco RIGHT NOW. Note: This dude’s so busy and buzzy, this could warrant an update the second we hit publish.

1. He’s currently filming Howl, a Gus Van Sant-helmed Allen Ginsberg biopic that centers on the legal backlash against the infamous poem.

2. He will co-star with Danny McBride in Your Highness, a sci-fantasy flick/stoner comedy which director David Gordon Green describes “an R-rated adventure, it’s ridiculous, played with lo-tech effects.”

3. He’s the subject of a hate note from his alma mater by a group who call themselves UCLA Students Against James Franco as Commencement Speaker. Even if we get their point, how sad would that make you?!

4. He sold a short-story collection to Scribner. (He’s in the MFA writing program at Columbia. Gawker caught him sleeping in class there.)

5. Speaking of Columbia, he’s getting mobbed by fans there — not that the university rep who spoke with the New York Post seemed to care. We don’t remember this happening to Julia Stiles…

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