The 127 Hours star was commissioned by Yahoo! News editors to pen an ode to the leader as he was sworn in to begin his second term in Washington, D.C. on Monday (21Jan13), but Franco appeared to struggle to come up with something interesting for readers.
Detailing his writing challenge in the piece, titled Obama in Asheville, he writes, “I was asked to write something for the inauguration of his second term, but what could I write? I was in Asheville, studying writing, but not the political sort; I write confessions and characters, and that sort of thing.”
He goes on to describe the night he met Obama as a guest at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner: “He knew me from Spider-Man. I asked him for advice… I wondered how he dealt with detractors. He smiled his smile and said, ‘Humor.'”
In the unusual, rambling poem, Franco also brands Obama “a great servant of the people” and admits his “essential kindness” is what sets him apart from other political figures.
He adds, “If I were to act in the film about Obama, all I would need to get down, aside from the outer stuff – and I know that’s important – is his essential kindness… the goodness at its core… I’d win the Academy Award if I just captured that.”