James Franco has penned a poem that reveals he shared a friendly rivalry with Heath Ledger, which saw the duo compete for several of the same cinematic roles.
The Australian actor died in January 2008 several months after completing work as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, a performance that he would go on to win a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for.
Around this period Franco was also a burgeoning actor, and as Franco was born in 1978 and Ledger was born in 1979, the pair competed for the same roles in films.
Franco has basically confirmed that this was the case, as several poems in his debut collection, which is called Directing Herbert White, allude to Ledger.
In fact one poem is actually called “Ledger”, and it even names several of the films that the pair vied for. The ode notes, “There had been a time. When we were up for the same roles, ’10 Things I Hate You’ (Based on ‘The Taming of the Shrew’), And ‘The Patriot’ — Funny, you were Australian and so was Mel — You were the knight in ‘A Knight’s Tale’…’”
Another of Franco’s poems is written in the voice of Lindsay Lohan, which also includes the lines: “Fame raped me. And I raped it, if you know what I’m saying.”
36-year-old Franco has penned several pieces that refer to the Mean Girls actress, even though he has previously called her “delusional.”
A passage from a semi-fictionalized essay that Franco wrote for Vice even mentioned the time the pair almost had sex at the Chateau Marmont. It read:
“I ran my fingers through her hair and thought about this girl sleeping on my chest, our fictional Hollywood girl, Lindsay. What will she do? I hope she gets better. You see, she is famous. She was famous because she was a talented child actress, and now she’s famous because she gets into trouble. She is damaged.”
In the past, when it has been suggested that the duo slept together, Franco insisted that it never happened.
After being named on the actress’ leaked list of celebrities she’d had sex with, Franco declared, “I will swear on anything that you ask that I have never had sex with Lindsay Lohan. Here’s the problem: I bet you if we brought her in here and you asked her to her face, ‘Did you have sex with James?’ She’d say yes. I can’t believe she put me on that private list. She’s so delusional.”
Other poems in Franco’s collection include the likes of “Girlfriend in a Coma” and “There is a Light That Never Goes Out,” which are both named after songs from the classic British band, The Smiths.