The 35-year-old actor's new book revolves around Hollywood and illustrates his life before acting, pays homage to stars such as Marlon Brando and Heath Ledger, and explores the dark side of stardom. Franco received an undergraduate degree in English from UCLA in 2008, and a master's degree from Columbia University in 2010. His first book, Palo Alto, was published in the same year, and he is currently working toward a PhD in English at Yale.
Franco told LA Magazine that his new book took him four years to write. The title references two poems, "Herbert White" and "Writing Ellen West," by poet Frank Bidart.
The actor said nothing scandalous will appear about the various celebrities in the book, including Lindsay Lohan. Franco denied that he ever slept with the star, and said he doesn't belong on her supposed list of lovers.
"I didn't write anything bad about them," the actor said. "And Lindsay herself has told lies about me with her people-she's-slept-with list! So I feel like what I said is much less than what she's said."
Franco also said that creative writing "is something that has been part of my life for a long time."
"It's just one of my loves," he continued. "I went to graduate school for it because I take it very seriously."
Unfortunately, the star acknowledged, his career as an actor may always overshadow that love.
"I know that my life as an actor obviously casts a shadow over what I'm doing with the poetry," Franco said. "It's something I love, and if people want to judge my poetry through the lens of my acting then there's nothing I can do about that."