Mother Betsy Franco also played his character's mother on "General Hospital" (1963).
His favorite film is _My Own Private Idaho_(1991)_qv.
Is friends with Busy Philipps, who he met on the set of "Freaks and Geeks" (1999).
Although he always hated it, he started smoking for his lead role in James Dean (2001) (TV).
In 2009, he reunited with his Deuces Wild (2002) co-star, Ronnie Marmo, on "General Hospital" (1963).
James appeared in two movies that premiered on the same day, Deuces Wild (2002) and Spider-Man (2002), both opening on May 3rd. The success of the two films was highly varied as Spider-Man film has to date amassed a box office gross some 67 times greater than that of Deuces.
After seeing Franco's turn as James Dean, Robert De Niro personally chose him to play his drug-addicted son in the 2002 movie 'City by the Sea'.
Auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man (2002), but was given the part of Harry Osborn.
Was named one of People Magazine's 50 Hottest Bachelors 
He completed his Private Pilots License to prepare for his role in 2006's Flyboys (2006).
Worked with stunt coordinator Nick Powell in two movies both premiering in 2006: Tristan + Isolde (2006) and Annapolis (2006).
Close friends with Tobey Maguire. He also used to "babysit" Tobey's daughter on the set of Spider-Man 3 (2007).
Franco told interviewer Terry Gross that when he was in junior high school, he was arrested for shoplifting cologne from a department store and reselling it with his friends at the school. He noted to Gross the irony that, in 2008, he shot an advertising campaign in which he became the face of Gucci cologne.
Chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the "The 40 Most Handsome Hollywood Men"(#1).
In 2009, Salon.com named Franco the "Sexiest Man Living.".
Has directed short films for two R.E.M. songs, "Blue" and "That Someone Is You" from their 2011 album, "Collapse Into Now".
Franco volunteers at the charity Art of Elysium in Los Angeles, helping kids with serious medical conditions. In January 2011, he was honoured for his work at the hospital, receiving the Spirit of Elysium accolade.
May perhaps be one of the most academically accomplished actors (an "extreme scholar") in Hollywood history: besides his BFA in English from UCLA, he has two MFA degrees - both in writing - from Columbia and Brooklyn College, and a third MFA, in film, from New York University. He is continuing further degree studies while also teaching a graduate class that takes students through the process of making a feature-length film. (2011).