Rebel, Rebel

Artist, director, actor, author – is there any creative career James Franco hasn’t tried his hand at in recent years? Hollywood’s favorite multi-hyphenate seems keen on testing his skills in numerous arenas so it is unsurprising to see him giving fashion photography a go. In the newest Elle Franco shoots Agyness Deyn as a latter day James Dean (Deyn also serves as fashion editor) while Natalia Bonifacci plays Sal Mineo in Franco’s gender-bending tribute to Rebel Without A Cause.

It is always cool to see newcomers take on the traditional fashion editorial and Franco’s snapshots have a certain unstudied quality that makes them interesting; are you a fan of his efforts, or do you think he’s better off sticking to his day job? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Wish this guy would stay in his element. I’ve seen much better shoots…it so demeans actual talented fashion photogs to know that he will get coverage for this when it is amateurish at best.

  2. This is fashion photography 101, and the whole James Dean angle is beyond cliche, especially by him. I have never gotten the appeal Agyness, and these pics haven’t changed my opinion of her.

  3. janelle – agyness didn’t style the shoot but was the “fashion editor”. ilaria urbinati was the stylist – her name is on the last page along with the rest of the credits.

  4. Funny, a name really helps…if an unknown photographer had sent these in, they never would have been published as they are that basic…the celebrity obsession continues.

  5. More disappointment. Another celebrity who has decided to try their hand at photography, which is fine… IF THEY KEEP THE PHOTOS IN THEIR HOMES.

    Why exactly are we supposed to think this is such awesome work? Simply because JF took the photos.


    herzco /

  6. “Franco’s snapshots have a certain unstudied quality that makes them interesting”

    Code for: Franco put no effort into this but rode on his already undeserved fame–unstudied equals boring. Such a shame to waste Agyness and Natalia on this snooze of a layout.

  7. Unfortunately the fashion industry can be cheapened when there are celebrities that want to play “photographer”. this just seems wrong. the only celebrity turned photographer that i saw the beauty in his work, was when Brad Pitt did those images of Angelina… because it was true and intimate. This is just blah, 101, no bueno. Sorry James! You are a very good actor though!
    ps- and shame on Elle whom I love to take part in a project like this. I don’t think it helps your numbers Elle!

  8. Ssssh Juliette, no one should be able to decode that 😉

    herzco, I don’t think anyone is supposed to assume they are awesome, but I thought it was worth sharing if only to hear what people thought about it.

    really, I hated the Brad and Angie W cover / photos. HATED. Oh god I’m having flashbacks

    glunge thanks for the heads up, didn’t see that. Though now I wonder what Aggy did exactly to be listed as fashion editor, if the actual styling was done by someone else.

  9. Had a newcomer shots this, it would’ve been downright rejected. “It is always cool to see newcomers take on the traditional fashion editorial…” Right. Let’s see Elle now hire a total newcomer who is not a celebrity to shoot a traditional editorial. I won’t hold my breath for that to happen anytime soon. I hate to sound bitter, but why do celebrities feel they can encroach on everyone elses trade. If they did it incredibly well, God bless them. But they don’t. They get attention for subpar work when thousands of much more talented people are constantly ignored. It’s an insult to art, photography, and creativity. I have nothing against James Franco; I like him quite a lot. But this editorial would never have been approved in a thousand years had it been presented like this by a “newcomer.”

  10. Please. Enough already with James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Franco is a smart, handsome man and a fine actor, and, with focus and time, he could prove to be a good photographer. But in the future, not as evidenced here.

  11. 1st of all the have been published on Elle. If celebrities don’t help numbers in ‘commercial’ and ‘not so commercial’ (see the new Dazed) magazines then what makes them?

    If James Franco is doing photography now, well it’s probably not the most difficult of all arts, and he is an artist in many ways. He has an eye for it. Although having Agyness helps and there’s a lot of room for improvement, there’s nothing original in them.

    But that’s all about most fashion editorials and all magazines. Nothing excites me anymore. I’m tired of all of them. Even the ones you like, end up disappointing you.

    Elle has its readers and they’ll love it. That’s all I can say.

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