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No 'Glee' for James Franco; 'Howl' is here and 'Eat Pray Love' on the horizon

January 26, 2010 | 11:32 am

Franco panel With various celebs getting bitten by the "Glee" bug, one would think James Franco would be a strong possibility, having been directed by show creator Ryan Murphy in the upcoming "Eat Pray Love."

Unfortunately, Franco has to catch up on some major TiVo before that's in the cards,

"Probably not," Franco told me of making a cameo. "I haven't even seen the show yet!" 

I caught up with the actor at the press day for "Howl," his festival entry at Sundance this year, which sees him playing beat poet Allen Ginsberg

Franco and I discussed his knack for re-creating historical characters (his breakout James Dean, and Harvey Milk's lover Scott Smith), but Franco still enjoys the originals -- such as his "Eat" character David, one of Julia Roberts' love interests in the film.

Franco general "I think this character is something people haven't seen from me before. He's like a yogi hipster that introduces [Julia] to meditation," Franco said. 

"Howl" directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman think he's not so far off from the crunchier types, though. They said he was their only choice to portray hipster archetype Ginsberg.

"James is the beatnik of his generation," Epstein said, "he's creative and very diverse."

There's also that hair.

"Howl" is awaiting distribution; "Eat Pray Love" hits this August.

-- Matt Donnelly

Photos: James Franco, who sat down with the Ministry one-on-one at Sundance, also participated in a "Howl" panel discussion, top, flanked by co-directors Rob Epstein, right, and Jeffrey Friedman on Jan. 22, 2010. And at left? That's James on "General Hospital," of all things, back in November, in the recurring role of Franco, a mysterious artist. Nah, no beatniks here! Credits: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times, top; Ron Tom / ABC, left.

Related dispatches regarding the Sundance Film Festival and 'Glee':

'Howl' star Jon Hamm: No beard secret -- just being lazy 

There's a whole lotta 'Glee' going on at the SAG Awards

The Ministry presents: A celebrity guide to Sundance 2010

'Glee' flash mob surprises Rome shoppers in a busy mall

'Glee' cast celebrates creator Ryan Murphy's birthday

Why don't you howl or get gleeful with us? Check us out on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs) and Facebook.


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