Wide Screen

James Franco’s ‘Warren Wilson College’ T-shirt: The meaning behind it (TIFF 2012)

Wide Screen

View gallery

.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

At the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival press conference for "Spring Breakers" that took place on Friday, the young starlets Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine wowed journalists and photographers with their subtle-but-sexy outfits.

The film's male star James Franco, however, made a more peculiar wardrobe choice.

Beside his lace-and-leopard clad costars, Franco wore some snappy jeans, sneakers, black jacket and a bright blue T-shirt with the words "Warren Wilson College" emblazoned on it.

See also: More coverage of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

In the film, Franco plays a Kevin Federline-lookalike drug dealer named Alien, who bails four young, attractive college students out of jail and enlists them to do his dirty work. As the actor fielded questions from reporters about whether he's a "hip-hop head" or which of Selena Gomez's songs is his favourite, at least his T-shirt reminded us that he's one of Hollywood's most accomplished academics (he's currently enrolled in six -- count 'em six -- graduate programs.

View gallery

.

James Franco in "Spring Breakers." (Muse Entertainment)

Warren Wilson College is a private, four-year college in North Carolina that requires students to achieve standards in an academic curriculum, program-related work placement, and community service in order to graduate. Franco is currently enrolled in a postgraduate poetry program at the college, which he maintains by commuting to North Carolina every once in a while from New York City, where he also pursues a Master's degree in writing from Columbia University, fiction writing at Brooklyn College, film at NYU, and digital and media art at the Rhode Island School of Design. Oh, he's also getting his PhD in English at Yale, too. You know, no biggie.

See also: James Franco sued by former NYU professor

View gallery

.

Franco in "127 Hours." (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

In fact, Franco's acting gigs often seem like side projects to his chosen career as a lifelong learner. Roles like the stoner Saul in "Pineapple Express," Julia Roberts' young love interest in "Eat, Pray, Love," Harry Osborn in the "Spider-Man" series, and perhaps even Alien in "Spring Breakers" must be great boosts to the bank account to fund a Hollywood A-lister's lifestyle while living as a student!

See also: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper hug it out following 'Sexiest Man Alive' scandal (TIFF 2012)

But not that all of Franco's movies are popcorn flicks. He has received plenty of award nominations for the dramas "127 Hours" and "Milk," and isn't afraid to take on challenging and edgy indie films, including those he also writes and directs.

"Spring Breakers" might seem on the surface as a candy-coloured risqué romp on the beach, but Franco is no airhead. And he's got the T-shirt to prove it!

View Comments