Have you ever thought, I would love to live the renaissance man lifestyle of James Franco
but could I afford all the travel? It’s a practical consideration: Putting aside the human toll of cyclically acting, writing, and studying with little to no rest, the commuting costs are a daunting prospect. So in order to help you determine if the Franco life fits your budget, we traced his movements for the month of January and then priced out what it would cost to follow his route by plane, train, and rental car. Though Franco likely flies first class (or would such luxury dull his artistic senses?), we priced all flights in coach, therefore making living a life of celebrity, Oscar hosting, fine arts, and PhD studies as accessible as possible. (Food and lodging costs not included, because based on the evidence, Franco neither sleeps nor eats.)
On New Year’s day, Franco (who is based in New York City) does a test shoot in Newton, North Carolina with stand-in actors for As I Lay Dying, a movie he’ll direct this summer. Two days later, he begins a brief winter MFA residency at a poetry retreat at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.
Flight from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina: $550
Three-day car rental in Charlotte, North Carolina for Asheville, North Carolina, jaunt: $200
On Friday, Franco works with Anne Hathaway in Los Angeles to prepare for Oscars. On Saturday, he meets Hathaway at 7 a.m. for an Oscar promo photo shoot. By 5 p.m., he’s in Palm Springs for the International Film Festival awards, where he presents the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to 127 Hours director Danny Boyle.
Flight from Asheville, North Carolina to Los Angeles: $500
Flight from Los Angeles to Palm Springs: $880
Franco flies back to Asheville, North Carolina for a few more days at the poetry retreat.
Flight from Palm Springs to North Carolina: $1,000
Having returned to his New York apartment, he now heads to his 9:25 a.m. “Byron, Shelley, Keats” class at Yale.
Flight from Asheville, North Carolina to New York City: $500
Round-trip train ticket from New York to New Haven: $37
Again having returned to New York, Franco then heads to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where he unveils his art installation, Three’s Company: The Drama. He spends the weekend taking photos with fans and for press, doing interviews, and attending the premiere of the movie Homework just before flying back East.
Roundtrip flight from New York to Park City: $400
Back in L.A.: On Saturday, Franco pretapes segments for the Oscars and announces to a reporter that he’s opening a bar called the Writer’s Room in Los Angeles, where he will host an Oscars after-party. Later that day, he attends the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where Seth Rogen presents him with the Outstanding Performance of the Year Award. On Sunday, Franco attends the SAG Awards and confirms he’s in talks to play John Gotti’s son in a biopic that may star John Travolta.
Round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles: $500
Two-day rental car in Los Angeles: $250
Franco returns once again to New York, as film school Columbia College Hollywood announces that he’ll supervise a course called “Master Class: Editing James Franco … With James Franco,” and Playbill confirms he’ll star on Broadway opposite Nicole Kidman in Sweet Bird of Youth.
Total Travel Expenses for January: $5,967
Note: Since we only included his trips that were reported, we may have missed some jaunts to Yale — and, who knows, Bali? Peru? Jupiter? — so best give yourself at least a $1,000 cushion to account for Franco stealth projects.