Battle Of The Multi-"Talented" Celebrities: Can Kutcher Unseat Franco?

Illustration for article titled Battle Of The Multi-"Talented" Celebrities: Can Kutcher Unseat Franco?

Now that Ashton Kutcher is some sort of high-tech magnate, he seems to be enrolling in the James Franco School of Celebrities Doing Unexpected Other Things. But will the student surpass the teacher? Today we put them head-to-head.


Non-acting endeavors

Kutcher is now an investor in a number of tech startups, including Airbnb, a service that lets travelers stay in private homes and that inspired MSNBC's Overhead Bin blog to write, "Ashton Kutcher wants you to stay with a stranger."

Franco is enrolled in approximately one billion graduate programs, including NYU's MFA program in filmmaking, from which he graduated earlier this month. Oh yeah, and he's a writer.

If his movie roles are any indication, Ashton Kutcher hasn't had to think very much in his primary career. So he has plenty of brain cells left over to devote to his life as a venture capitalist. Also, he loves Twitter. Franco, meanwhile, has his fingers in so many pies that he needs an extra hand grafted onto his butt. Come to think of it, he is probably working on a movie of this. So, advantage Kutcher.

Acting endeavors

Kutcher will be replacing Charlie Sheen on next season of Two and a Half Men.

Franco will star in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a prequel which opens in August.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks totally ridiculous. On the other hand, is not Two and a Half Men. Advantage Franco.

Hosting gigs

Kutcher hosted SNL, and he was okay.


Franco hosted the Oscars, and he was completely stoned and obviously phoning it in. However, he also hosted SNL, and he wore jammies and knifed people.


Advantage Franco.

Endorsements by normal people

Of Kutcher, venture capitalist David Lee said,

When I first met him, I was deeply skeptical of him because he's an actor and famous, and I thought he just wanted to dabble. I've seen his movies, I've seen ‘Dude, Where's My Car?' and was not sure what to expect. [But] I've come to realize he's one of the most insightful investors I've worked with.


Prof. Jessica Brantley, on Franco's attendance at her Yale medieval manuscripts class the day after the Oscars: "I was surprised and delighted that he made it to class. He's a dedicated student."

Brantley should be surprised that Franco showed up after being so baked the night before. Advantage Kutcher.


Narcissistic side projects

According to the Times, a company Kutcher invests in has released A Plus, "a free program for desktop computers that revolves around everything Ashton, including his Twitter updates, photos and other material he endorses."


Franco has famously signed on to teach a class on himself, titled, "Master Class: Editing James Franco ... With James Franco." The class will reportedly allow students to "create a cinematic image of James Franco through the footage."

Kutcher is supposed to be all tech-savvy but his new all-about-me app is desktop-only? Advantage Franco.


Tallying up the points, we get 3:2 in favor of Franco. The once-undisputed champion of doing weird non-celeb shit is safe for now — but he needs to watch his back.

An Actor Who Knows Start-Ups [NYT]
Ashton Kutcher Wants You To Stay With A Stranger [MSNBC Overhead Bin Blog]



Said it before, saying it again: if James Franco had been alive in the 19th century he would have been one of those aristocratic dandy dilettantes who writes one opera, one play, one book of poetry, sculpts one sculpture and paints a few paintings that have naked people and are shown in a super private and exclusive exhibition, hangs out in the most exclusive salons by day and the dens of iniquity by night, before dying prematurely from too much absinthe and opium, or unprotected sex with ladies of ill repute.

Not that that's a bad thing.