IN ""PINEAPPLE EXPRESS," he plays a visibly unwashed hippie pot dealer on the run from mobsters: a THC-addled naif with a crinkly smile, a curtain of lank, dark hair and a heart of gold. But don't get the wrong impression about James Franco just because of his spot-on performance in the most anticipated stoner action-comedy of the year. He's no dope, even though he smokes plenty on-screen.
To wit: Dude can almost carbon-date his experiences making certain movies by recalling what literature he was reading at the time.
In 2006, while filming the massive international blockbuster " Spider-Man 3," in which the actor plays Spidey's BFF turned arch nemesis the Green Goblin, Franco was deep into the classical canon of Shakespeare, Chaucer and Milton -- required reading for the UCLA creative writing degree he was pursuing at the time. "It took so long to set up the effects shots and get everything coordinated, it was perfect for doing homework," Franco said, chomping into a club sandwich at a Beverly Hills hotel.