The Real Reason James Franco Is Doing a Soap Opera

In the acting world, soap operas are known as a good gig: The pay is decent, the work is steady (as long as your character manages to stay alive/in town/employed at the hospital), and you get some real exposure. Plenty of big-name actors got their first big break on soaps. But say you've already gotten your first big break, and now you're a successful movie star. Why would you join the daily grind of a soap opera?

That's the question everyone was asking last month when James Franco, star of Milk and Pineapple Express, announced that he would be joining the cast of General Hospital for a "lengthy run."

Now details are leaking about Franco's possible ulterior motive.

In an interview with Movieline, the conceptual artist Carter (who took these photos of James Franco for VMan) says that he convinced the actor to do General Hospital:

"It was an idea that I posed to him, and it’s tied to another film that he and I are working on now... It’s basically written, and now we’re working on getting the other actors involved, which we are super, super excited about... Once that happens, we’re going to make the best movie ever made."

In other word's, James Franco is doing the soap in preparation for a feature film, directed by Carter. Carter is reluctant to give details about "the best movie ever made", saying only that it will be "pretty abstract," and that "General Hospital... is part of the film we’re working on, but it’s not a giant part of the narrative."

So will footage from the soap appear in the film? Will Franco be playing a soap star? Will he be playing himself? It's all pretty mysterious. In the meantime, the star is hard at work shooting his character's scenes. He's also appearing on this season of 30 Rock, where he will definitely be playing himself -- "but a very strange version. I don't think it has anything to do with who I actually am." Hey, we like a man who keeps us guessing.

Why do you think James decided to become a soap star? Chime in below!

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