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Among his other 2007 projects were Good Time Max, which Franco wrote, directed and starred in.The movie premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and tells the story of two talented brothers who take very diverse paths in life, one going on to become a doctor whilst the other sibling (Franco) experiences unemployment and uses drugs.Also in 2006, he made a cameo appearance in the romantic comedy The Holiday.Franco co-starred with Sienna Miller in the low-budget independent film Camille, a dark fantasy dramedy about a young newlywed couple and Interview, where he appears in a voice only role, both 2007 movies that were ignored by audiences and critics alike.In her New York Times review, critic Manohla Dargis wrote: "He's delightful as Saul, loosey-goosey and goofy yet irrepressibly sexy, despite that greasy curtain of hair and a crash pad with a zero WAF (Woman Acceptance Factor).It's an unshowy, generous performance and it greatly humanizes a movie that, as it shifts genre gears and cranks up the noise, becomes disappointingly sober and self-serious".Franco volunteers for the Art of Elysium charity, and has taught film classes at New York University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, Studio 4, Palo Alto High School, and Playhouse West.While working at the establishment, he would practice accents on customers, an experience he remembered nostalgically in a 2015 Washington Post editorial titled "Mc Donald's was there for me when no one else was". James Dean." Despite already being a fan of Dean, Franco feared he might be typecast if he'd captured the actor too convincingly.
For his role in 127 Hours (2010), he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.Of Franco's character, Apatow said, "You tell him, 'Okay, you're going to play a pot dealer', and he comes back with a three-dimensional character you totally believe exists.He takes it very seriously, even when it's comedy".While filming James Dean, the actor, to get into character, cut off communication with his family and friends, as well as his then-girlfriend. Set in 1980s New Orleans, Sonny follows the titular character (Franco) returning home after just being discharged from the Army.To prepare for his role, he met with sex workers or people who had previously been prostitutes.