James Franco was honored with a prestigious filmmaker’s award at the Venice Film Festival and he accepted the prize with a freshly shaved head sporting a tattoo of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift on his skull.
The multi-hyphenate attended Friday’s event to receive an innovators award called the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory and premiere his latest William Faulkner adaptation “The Sound and the Fury.” But Franco also used the picturesque red carpet ceremony leading up to the event to shoot a scene for his new film “Zeroville.”
Franco plays a socially challenged man named Ike “Vikar” Jerome in “Zeroville,” which is being adapted from a 2007 Steve Erickson novel. The new part required him to shave his head, attach a funny mustache and have a (hopefully temporary) tattoo inked onto the back of his head. The movie is about a man obsessed with Hollywood, so it’s fitting the character’s tattoo depicts a Clift and Taylor scene from their 1951 movie “A Place in the Sun.”
Getting in character was a time-consuming process for 36-year-old Franco, who posted pictures on Instagram documenting the transformation. He first flaunted his freshly shaved head Wednesday, added in a picture with his mustache Thursday and finally showed off his skull tattoo in a picture posted Friday. The caption read “Zeroville coming soon.”
Each year the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory award is given to an individual who makes “an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.” Past recipients include Spike Lee, Takeshi Kitano and Sylvester Stallone.