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James Franco Explains Why He Skipped Jose Angel Santanta's Class At New York University

First Posted: 04/16/2012 10:27 am   Updated: 04/17/2012 3:34 pm

From the premier of his latest film “The Broken Tower,” James Franco didn’t shy from telling reporters why he made “127 Hours” instead of attending his acting class at New York University.

He said the professor was awful.

“I’ve been in eight years of acting class. I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher and that I should go and work with Danny Boyle. I felt like that was the right decision.”

Franco shook off the “D” Professor Jose Angel Santana gave him in “Directing the Actor II” and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for “127 Hours.”

Santana hasn’t fared so well. He claims he was fired for giving Franco a low grade, which Franco denies.

“No teacher will ever be fired from NYU for giving a student a D,” Franco says from a Q+A session for “Broken Tower. “He wasn’t fired, he was asked not to come back after three years because they didn’t think he was a good teacher.

Regardless of what Franco thinks, Santana is still suing NYU, alleging wrongful termination. He told the New York Post that NYU “has done everything in its power to curry favor with James Franco.”

“I did not care one bit about the grade, I knew I was going to get the grade,” he said. “I don’t even know what my grades are in NYU because grades don’t matter, what matters is the films that you make. Anybody coming out of film school is not going to go to Sony or Warner Bros. and say ‘Hey, I got an A in acting class, give me a job.’”

Franco directs and stars in “Broken Tower” -- a biopic of American poet Hart Crane. Franco has played poets before. He starred in Rob Epstein’s “Howl” in 2010.

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  • UCLA

    Franco first enrolled at UCLA in 1996, but dropped out after his freshman year to act. He re-enrolled in 2006, taking anywhere from <a href="" target="_hplink">20-62</a> credits per semester. The regular course load is 19 credits.

  • Columbia University

    Franco enrolled in <a href="" target="_hplink">Columbia's MFA program</a> in 2008 and graduated in 2010.

  • NYU

    While at Columbia, Franco also decided to attend a filmmaking program at NYU. "The new critique you're gonna start hearing about James Franco," he told <a href="" target="_hplink"><em>New York Magazine</em></a> "is 'He's spreading himself too thin.' "

  • Brooklyn College

    At the same time, Franco attended <a href="" target="_hplink">Brooklyn College</a> for more instruction in creative writing.

  • Warren Wilson College

    While he was enrolled in three New York-based MFA programs, Franco <a href="" target="_hplink">frequented</a> Warren Wilson College in North Carolina for extra poetry training.

  • Yale University

    In 2010, Franco was accepted into Yale's English Ph.D program.

  • RISD

    "Is it art?" James Franco once asked at the end of a <a href="" target="_hplink">Wall Street Journal</a> editorial addressing his appearance on General Hospital. It was hard to know, of course, but we do know that Franco sought a technical background in the aforementioned subject, <a href="" target="_hplink">attending</a> RISD.

  • University of Houston

    Another doctoral degree, because why not? Franco was accepted to the University of Houston's literature and creative writing program this month.

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