James Franco and Dane DeHaan are at very different stages in their careers, but their resumes have some curious similarities.
DeHaan is appearing in this weekend's biggest (hopeful) blockbuster, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as Harry Osborn, the role that Franco filled in Sam Raimi's earlier take on the web slinger. But it's not the only role they share. Franco broke out in the 2001 TV biopic James Dean, playing, well, James Dean. DeHaan is playing Dean in the upcoming Anton Corbijn movie Life about Dean's relationship with photographer Dennis Stock. And on top of that, DeHaan and Franco have both appeared in films about a young Allen Ginsberg. Though, Franco had the role of Ginsberg in Howl and DeHaan played Ginsberg's friend Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings.
When asked about taking on two roles that Franco has already tackled in a PopSugar interview last year, DeHaan said: "I don't really care. We're very different people. Our Harry Osborns will be very different. I'm sure our James Deans will be very different. I guess the only things that I see that we have in common is that we both had the opportunity to play both those parts."
Even DeHaan and Franco's looks are different. Whereas Franco was James Dean-handsome when he played the actor—he was practically a ringer—DeHaan's attractiveness is odder. He doesn't look like a matinee idol with high cheekbones. Instead there's something more sinister about him, which is perhaps why he has frequently played alluring troubled teens and villains. His Harry Osborn is more of a weasel. A weasel who, it should be noted, turns into the Green Goblin in the first movie he appears in, whereas Franco had an entire movie to play Harry as a basically good guy.
Their commonalities don't mean DeHaan is headed the way of Franco, who is now best known as a crown prince of Internet stunts, graduate school degree programs, and self-indulgent art projects. Speaking of art projects, yesterday Franco posted a portrait he did of DeHaan to Instagram.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.