Fashion

The Strange and Wonderful Personal Style of James Franco

The actor-director-writer-you-name-it on porn 'staches and great movie jackets.
IMAGE Getty, Coach, Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D, HBO, Everett Collection.
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James Franco has a lot going on right now. There's his directorial turn in The Disaster Artist, chronicling the production of the hilariously terrible Tommy Wiseau movie The Room. (Tommy "99.9 percent" approves.) Then there's his role in HBO's upcoming The Deuce, set in the grittier, pornier New York of the '70s and '80s (and in which he sports a truly fantastic porn 'stache). But he still found time to become the face of Coach for Men—and to talk to us about good cologne, bad pants, and why he's ripping a page from Gosling's book.

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Clockwise from top right: The new Coach for Men cologne; Dan Colen's 'TBT,' appearing in a survey show at London's Newport Street gallery this October; James Dean in 'Rebel Without a Cause'; a scene from HBO's 'The Deuce'; and another of Franco's icons, Jack Kerouac, in 1959.

Mid-century model:

I would call my style classic American. I think of the '50s through '70s. Fortunately, I know a lot of people in fashion, so they help me out with my wardrobe.

Rebel smell:

I connected with Coach because of their attitude: the vintage American vibe, the rebelliousness. It's right up my alley. And the fragrance just went with that—as I become more mature, I think more and more about personal presentation. You want something welcoming, something people will feel comfortable around.

Color me bad:

In the '80s, I had these things called Jams. They were halfway between shorts and pants, and very colorful. They were not good. They were a flashing neon sign of bad. I didn't learn how to dress myself until—well, until about a year ago. I like stuff that doesn't scream "This is super pretentious." Stuff that feels relaxed.

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Something to chew on:

One artist I really like is Dan Colen. He's got a wide-ranging practice. He does sculpture, and he does bird-shit paintings and paintings with chewed gum. I used to own a lot more art, and then I was financing some of my own movies, so a lot of the art went. That's a lesson learned.

One man's 'stache...

The great thing about acting is you get to try everything. The Deuce gave me an excuse to do a real '70s 'stache and not just be a hipster—I didn't hate it. I got into the clothes, too, even though they were tight. It forced me to get in shape.

Set dressing:

Watch any of Ryan Gosling's movies and you're like, "Wow, look at that!" He's got the scorpion jacket in Drive; the leather jacket in The Place Beyond the Pines. Wardrobe can be such a big reveal of character. The classic example is James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, with that red jacket. I'd like to be more involved in those kinds of collaborations.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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