Laconic James Franco to serve as “enthusiastic” Daytona grand-marshal

The bored-seeming actor will declare "Drivers start your engines!" at the famous speedway.

Topics: James Franco, oz the great and powerful, celebrities,

Laconic James Franco to serve as "enthusiastic" Daytona grand-marshal(Credit: AP/Peter Kramer)

James Franco is about to star in his first big-budget movie since 2011, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” And in order to promote the expensive Disney fantasy about a Wizard of Oz, he’s going to end up in some unfamiliar places.

He’s set to appear as the grand marshal of the Daytona 500 later in the month; his last big live appearance, you may recall, ended poorly, with Franco criticized for his utter lack of energy or interest in his Oscar-hosting gig.

If James Franco wants to continue being a very famous actor (and though “Oz” was greenlighted years ago, and his feelings may have changed, the sort of tiny-scale documentaries Franco likes to make depend upon and refer to his fame), he’ll have to do embarrassing things like host the Oscars and appear at car racing events and get interviewed by E! and all the rest. The degree to which he’s allowed to be “too cool” erodes when a multimillion-dollar-movie rests on his shoulders — and making tiny independent films because it’s the only thing he can book, rather than as a break from big-budget fare, is much less fun.

In a press release, Daytona International Speedway’s president says, “We’re looking forward to hearing James’ enthusiastic starting command to kick off the Daytona 500.” It sounds like a warning — be enthusiastic or else.

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

    A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie

    Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant

    A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Black Silk" by Judith Ivory

    A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale

    A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

    A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ...   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen

    Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal

    A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency.   Read the whole essay.

    Romance novels need a canon

    "Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

    Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time.   Read the whole essay.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>