Oscar co-host and “127 Hours” star, James Franco, was in town recently to benefit 826DC, a non-profit organization created to help students write and achieve their goals.
Franco became involved with 826 National, a Dave Eggers organization, after Eggers approached him to do a conceptual idea for the program. Franco directed a documentary for 826 and has been a supporter ever since.
“I think schools need to get more creative with their writing programs,” said Franco. “Writing can do things that video cannot. It allows you to get inside the head of a character. It’s abstract.”
826DC, the Washington chapter of 826 National, provides after-school writing programs and workshops that encourage children, ages 6-18, to write creatively as well as improve their writing skills.
Aside from acting, Franco has received an MFA from Columbia University, published a collection of short stories, Palo Alto, and is currently working towards a Ph.D at Yale. When asked about what advice he would give aspiring writers who may face criticism, he told Washington Life, “I’m critiqued in a lot of areas in my life. When you do something for a long time, you develop your own idea of what you like. Once you reach that point, it’s easier to deal with outside critics.”
During the dinner hosted by 826DC, students of the organization had the opportunity to interview Franco.
“What are your other hobbies?” one student asked.
“Ping pong,” said Franco.
On another note, what is going on with Franco’s Twitter account you might ask? “Twitter is over. Still up but it’s going down. You heard it first,” he told the crowd. The actor then promptly discontinued his Twitter account this past weekend.
You can find more information about 826DC on its website.