(NEW YORK) — James Franco put his own stamp on Monday’s celebration of the presidential inauguration with a poem he composed for Yahoo! News.
Yahoo! News commissioned work from critically-acclaimed poets in addition to Franco, who is set to release a book of poetry next year.
The actor’s contribution is titled “Obama in Asheville,” though, he notes in the poem, it was he who was in the North Carolina city at the time he wrote it. A five-minute video of Franco reciting the poem in a monotone voice in a dimly-lit room is posted on the Yahoo! News website.
As he reads his work, Franco recalls meeting President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, writing, “He knew me from Spider-Man. I asked him for advice. I was scheduled to give the commencement speech at UCLA and there were some undergraduate knockers against me. He had been denied the usual honorary degree by Arizona State because he hadn’t accomplished enough, so I wondered how he dealt with detractors. He smiled his smile and said, ‘Humor.'”
Franco later ponders what it would be like to act in a film about Obama.
He wonders aloud, “All I would need to get down, aside from the outer stuff, and I know that’s important — is his essential kindness, I’d let the writer put in all the political crap.”
The poem concludes, “What would really put the role over would be the goodness at its core. That’s what will be remembered. Yes, his race, no one will forget. But the soul too. I’d win the Academy Award if I just captured that.”
The Twitter-verse hasn’t been kind to Franco, with several people on the microblogging site calling his poem the worst they’d ever heard.
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Kayla Nelson, Idaho State University Marketing and Communication
Daniel Woodruff, KUTV