Reading with James Franco
At the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn Thursday night, during a party for the paperback release of Teddy Wayne’s The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, which featured a gaggle of comic readers—Jesse Eisenberg, the Moth’s Dan Kennedy, Simon Rich—in addition to Mr. Wayne, the conversation turned briefly to the PEN party at the bookstore the previous evening. Comedian and newly minted author B.J. Novak had made an appearance then, puffing out the Brooklyn literati’s plumage enough that this evening’s celebrity cameo, the McSweeney’s author and recently announced Lex Luthor, Mr. Eisenberg, was treated as par for the course.
Reading with James Franco
A little over a week ago we noticed that James Franco–currently starring in Oz: The Great and Powerful, an autobiographical look at the actor’s life as a con man who lies about his accomplishments and convinces a lot of other people to do work for him so he can take credit for it–had started reading Teddy Wayne’s tremendous book about a tween celebrity, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine. Of course, being James Franco (note to James Franco: please title your next movie that), he couldn’t just post a picture of himself reading the book, so he added a little puppet friend to help him out.
Now, half a month later, Mr. Franco may have finished the book, but his little buddy hasn’t. And now his buddy has his own buddy … a doll that looks like it came off the set of his other documentary, Kink.
We do not know how you were taught to read serious literature, but below you can educate yourselves via actor/whatever James Franco, who posted a WhoSay photo yesterday of the correct way to enjoy Teddy Wayne‘s new novel, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, which fittingly concerns a young man trying to figure out his place in the world as a super-famous megastar.
Teddy Wayne is an iconoclast, at least when it comes to sandwiches. At the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe (his choice) to discuss The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, his novel about a prepubescent pop star, Mr. Wayne looked over the list of so-called “Legendary” burgers.
“Everything here is legendary,” he said. I suggested that the Hard Rock Cafe was a pretty venerable institution—remember all those T-shirts? “No, I feel like from the first day it was legendary. They created their own legend.”
Mr. Wayne, 33, had asked to meet at the Hard Rock in order to draw inspiration from the musical artifacts on the walls. He also wanted to nosh on a burger, the favorite food of Jonny Valentine, the 11-year-old protagonist of his new novel. Described as an “angel of pop,” Valentine is younger and less stratospherically successful than Justin Bieber, but a pretty clear stand-in for the Canadian singer. (It turned out the Nirvana memorabilia on the walls of the Hard Rock didn’t have a whole lot to do with Jonny’s tale.) The fictional child star is not a music lover, but rather more of a tactical, strategic marketer of his own brand.