Accused of being addicted to drugs, James Franco and Charlie Sheen seem much more addicted to themselves. And, really, what can we say - they both are supernovas.


The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, February 28, 2011. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at

Franco and Sheen Are Addicted to Themselves

Benoit Denizet-Lewis (more about him later) wrote a book, America Anonymous, about how everyone in the United States is addicted. Some years earlier, I wrote Diseasing of America, which is about how we in the United States are addicted to addiction.

Here is Denizet-Lewis' cause:  "Can you imagine the power of millions of recovering addicts walking on Washington, demanding that the government devote as much money to addiction research and treatment as they do to breast cancer and AIDS?"

Which brings up the Academy Awards, Charlie Sheen (yet again), and James Franco.  At the end of my interview for Good Morning America about Sheen, GMA interviewer Jeremy Hubbard knowingly said, in lieu of a question, "He's making these calls on drugs, right?" I declined to answer.

Meanwhile, based on his performance last night as host of the Oscars, James Franco is being accused of being on drugs (by Joe Scarborough, for one, who says he knows when people are high from coaching high school football).

Which brings us to Charlie's latest media barrage, where he says that he is a rock star from another planet - too "big" for ordinary mortals to grasp.  And I believe when he says these things that he's straight (for one thing, we know that Charlie doesn't manage himself well when high).

As for Franco, a few months ago, Benoit invited James and me (forgive my familiarity) to answer a question for his Good Men Project Magazine: what are we addicted to ?  As I predicted in my answer to the question, most of the men interviewed used the opportunity to boast about themselves.

Here was Franco's answer:

I'm addicted to coffee, and to school, movies, books, and art. . . . As if these obsessions are taking me away from my "real" life. They are my fucking real life, so if I spend all my time on them, good, I'm glad I'm addicted.

Which brings us to Franco's performance as the co-host (with fabulous Anne Hathaway) of the Oscars, for which he is being universally roasted. What made Joe think Franco was stoned was his totally disinterested - wish I weren't here, I'm too good for the house - demeanor.

But this attitude was evident in the pre-show interview he did with a Vanity Fair editor, Krista Smith, in which he said that his job wasn't interfering with his school work, although he declined to say what his school work is.  It is somewhat mysterious which programs Franco has been attending - he is now getting a Ph.D. in literature at Yale, but he was also reported to have been attending several other schools, including Columbia, where he was captured sleeping in the above picture.

The only hints Franco offered about what he is studying is that he is preparing for the post-film apocalypse - the demise of cinema.  In the interview, he said he wanted to host the Academy Awards while they still had an "aura" - one which no one contributed to destroying more than he did.

So, you see, as Franco himself says, he isn't addicted to drugs - he's addicted to his own fabulous life.  And, what can we say - he really is a supernova - he not only hosted the Awards - he was nominated for best actor for his starring role in 127 Hours.

Oh, he had his entire prep and performance for the Oscars recorded by his own film team .

March 2: Apropos Franco, in Us Weekly :

Franco's performance, in particular, didn't go down very well amongst viewers and television critics.

The source said the pair grew to "hate each other".

A second source is quoted as saying, "She had to provide all the energy -- he was just phoning it in," whilst yet another insider claimed, "James seemed in his own little world. Producers were p**sed."

P.S.  March 5:  Everyone else seems to admire this - I find it bizarre (from the NY Times ):

In addition to the Yale program, which could take several years, he is on track to earn a master’s degree in film from New York University this spring. (“It’s a full-time program,” an N.Y.U. spokesman said. “You can’t do it any other way.”)

Last year, Mr. Franco received a master’s degree in writing from Brooklyn College, and this semester he is co-teaching a course on film editing at Columbia College Hollywood, a private school in Los Angeles. It is called “Master Class: Editing James Franco — With James Franco.”