James Franco yesterday – first look at him playing Allen Ginsberg on the set of Howl. James is normally pretty lean. From the side there he looks much thicker. Fake?

Howl will focus on the younger Ginsberg, obviously, during the course of the poet’s obscenity trial over the poem that has since become one the defining works of the Beat Generation. It’s a great role for Franco, yet another following his impressive performance in Milk, and no wonder he’s so tired. Immersed in what seems like 15 current fine art programs, and signing a book deal, and acting…

Not sure how he does it but love that he’s doing it.

And he reads. And he’s interested. And he’s interesting. And he’s only 30. So he’s getting better. Much better. Therefore:

The new #1 on the Freebie Five. I love him so much.

PS. They say he’s the top candidate if they ever manage to get the Jeff Buckley biopic off the ground. Thoughts?

PPS. Photo of Allen Ginsberg here. Franco is playing him from this era.

Photos from Steffman/Curd/Splashnewsonline.com