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Arts and Entertainment

Of Course James Franco Wrote A Book About Lana Del Rey

Lana and James hanging at the beach (Photo via James Franco's Instagram)
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Here's a thing that was probably destined to happen: James Franco has co-written a book about his pal Lana Del Rey. Actor James Franco has had a longstanding fascination with his friend, pop singer Lana Del Rey. He also co-wrote a book about her called Flip-Side: Real And Imaginary Conversations With Lana Del Rey. The book comes out in March of next year, and Franco said it was inspired by something Del Rey said to him when he asked to interview her. She told Franco, "Just write about me; it's better if it's not my own words. It's almost better if you don't get me exactly, but try."

Franco's co-writer is author David Shields, whom Franco studied under when working on a creative writing MFA. The pair previously worked on I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, a film adaptation of the book co-written by Shields and Caleb Powell.

Franco previously wrote about Del Rey in V Magazine, saying he first became aware of her after her SNL performance of her song "Video Games," which critics and Internet haters alike lambasted as though a nervous Del Rey was somehow extremely personally offensive to them. "I watched clip, it wasn't great," Franco wrote then. "She wasn't transitioning between the high and low registers of 'Video Games' very smoothly, and she didn't know what to do with her free hand."

Franco went on to say that Del Rey never wanted to be a live performer, and was much more inclined to make her music and videos in her room. He then went on to praise her, saying the two had become friends.

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"She grew up on the East Coast, but she is an artist of the West Coast. When I watch her stuff, when I listen to her stuff, I am reminded of everything I love about Los Angeles. I am sucked into a long gallery of Los Angeles cult figurines, and cult people, up all night like vampires and bikers."

He continued, "Lana lives in her art, and when she comes down to earth for interviews, it gets messy, because she isn't made for this earth. She is made to live in the world she creates. She is one who has been so disappointed by life, she had to create her own world. Just let her live in it."

Franco posted on his Instagram last week that he interviewed Del Rey for another V Magazine feature due out in September.

Del Rey, who was born Elizabeth Grant, grew up in New York City. She struggled with alcoholism as a teen, and first garnered attention via a series of homemade videos for her songs. Though she blew up due to songs like "Video Games" and "Born to Die," she later said that she was unable to enjoy being successful because of the extreme backlash to her SNL performance.

"I never felt any of the enjoyment," she said in an interview with The Guardian. "It was all bad, all of it." (That interview was later the subject of a rant by Frances Bean Cobain, who took offense to Del Rey sort of saying she wishes she was dead.)

Musician Meredith Graves of the rock band Perfect Pussy once wrote an essay about Del Rey's backlash over her strange, old-timey, sorrowful persona. She purported there was a double standard between Andrew W.K.'s party-party-party persona—which has been widely accepted—and Del Rey's, which is subject to "constant negative commentary about her authenticity as a performer. This woman, who really does tour and write songs and suffer scrutiny, is written off as fake."

Franco has previously written poems about Lindsey Lohan, so maybe writing about controversial women is his thing.

Filp-Side is available for pre-order via Penguin Random House. Here's Del Rey's latest song, "Honeymoon."

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