The answer has to do with an Alien.
In a small press event to promote his new project, an AOL On Originals series entitled "Making a Scene with James Franco," the actor, director, artist, writer, musician, producer, teacher (and, at any given moment, probably another half dozen things) finally explained his deal to the room of journalists. Asked by a Twitter user, "What role have you played that you think has the best resemblance to your actual personality?" Franco responded:
"I did a movie called 'Spring Breakers.' Harmony [Korine] was just like go and act, just be yourself," he said.
For those who have not seen Korine's 2013 film, Franco played a cornrowed rapper and gangster named Alien. The character is famous for lines such as "Come on y'all, why you actin' 'spicious" and "My real name is Al, but truth be told, I'm not from this planet."
Is James Franco from this planet?
In what may help to further explain Franco's persona, earlier on in the Q&A, the actor said that much of the work he churns out at seemingly prolific rates, including the project he was promoting, is designed to get audiences to like him more. The goodwill Franco engenders then allows him to get approval to do things he really cares about:
[Sighs] If I do this and I do other comedies, in a weird way it ... it creates a space for me to do something that contrasts with this. If I, in a weird way, comedy creates good will... For whatever reason in my case, if I do the things like this then it's sort of like one for them and then I get to do maybe a Faulkner adaptation that's for me or something.
The room then proceeded to watch a clip from the new series called "Dirty Dancing Dogs." It mashed up the films "Dirty Dancing" and "Reservoir Dogs." As it played, Franco leaned his face hard onto the side of his wine glass.
Later in the event, immediately following the screening of a clip called "BatJuice" (a combination of "The Dark Knight" and "Beetlejuice"), Franco remarked on his frustration about the project not turning out the way he hoped:
"Those beeps are so lame. Why is it being censored? It's so stupid."
Other notable moments from the night included Franco admitting to have seen the whole "Twilight" franchise along with DVD commentaries, that he'd play Batman if given the chance and that people trying to accomplish his level of success should "just work hard."
A recurring theme of the night: Franco's concern about what he's actually allowed to do with "Making A Scene." When talking about a "When Harry Met Sally" video Franco would like to release, he expressed worry that fans would not be able to see the short as he intended. (It apparently features a climax in which Franco has "stuff that got all over [himself] and [his] eyes and mouth.") According to Franco, the clip was "too dirty for AOL." (AOL is the parent company of The Huffington Post.)
"Maybe the fans can petition AOL for them to not be so ... PG," said Franco.
James Franco, Alien at heart = Not PG.
AOL On already has the first four episodes of "Making a Scene" ready to stream, with more videos to be released in the coming weeks. Watch the full event below: