JAMES FRANCO

39, Los An­ge­les The ac­tor-di­rec­tor-writer-youname-it (most re­cently the face of Coach for Men) talks good cologne, bad pants, and why he’s rip­ping a page from Gosling’s book.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - STYLE - WORDS BY JON ROTH

Mid-cen­tury model: I would call my style clas­sic Amer­i­can. I think of the ’50s through ’70s. For­tu­nately, I know a lot of peo­ple in fash­ion, so they help me out with my wardrobe.

Colour me bad: In the ’80s, I had these things called Jams. They were half­way be­tween shorts and pants, and very colour­ful. They were not good. They were a flash­ing neon sign of bad. I didn’t learn how to dress my­self un­til—well, un­til about a year ago. I like stuff that doesn’t scream “This is su­per pre­ten­tious.” Stuff that feels re­laxed.

Some­thing to chew on: One artist I re­ally like is Dan Colen. He’s got a wide-rang­ing prac­tice. He does sculp­ture, and he does bird-shit paint­ings and paint­ings with chewed gum. I used to own a lot more art, and then I was fi­nanc­ing some of my own movies, so a lot of the art went. That’s a les­son learned.

One man’s ’stache . . . : The great thing about act­ing is you get to try ev­ery­thing. The Deuce gave me an ex­cuse to do a real ’70s ’stache and not just be a hip­ster—i didn’t hate it. I got into the clothes, too,

even though they were tight. It forced me to get in shape.

Set dress­ing: Watch any of Ryan Gosling’s movies and you’re like, “Wow, look at that!” He’s got the scor­pion jacket in Drive; the leather jacket in The Place Be­yond the Pines. Wardrobe can be such a big re­veal of char­ac­ter. The clas­sic ex­am­ple is James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, with that red jacket. I’d like to be more in­volved in those kinds of col­lab­o­ra­tions.

Rebel smell: I con­nected with Coach be­cause of their at­ti­tude: the vin­tage Amer­i­can vibe, the re­bel­lious­ness. It’s right up my al­ley. And the fra­grance just went with that—as I be­come more ma­ture, I think more and more about per­sonal pre­sen­ta­tion. You want some­thing wel­com­ing, some­thing peo­ple will feel com­fort­able around.

Left to right Over­ture (de­tail) by Dan Colen, gum on can­vas; James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause; the new Coach for Men cologne.

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