James Franco returning to ‘General Hospital’ on Oscars eve

James Franco had such a good time on “General Hospital,” that he is returning for an encore performance. As the show’s executive producer Jill Farren Phelps told TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, “When we realized James would be in L.A. for the Oscars and all the other awards shows, we asked if he’d consider coming back and doing a little something for us. He was happy to do it and requested that we use the appearance to plug his next story. He’s also expressed an interest in directing at ‘GH.’ He’s been really, really good to us. Whatever James wants, we’d love to make it happen!”

And, as Franco told Gold Derby, his previous stint on the daytime drama prepared him for his audition with “127 Hours” director Danny Boyle. Memorizing reams of dialogue everyday stood him in good stead when Boyle asked him to do a lengthy scene from the script with little time to prepare. The director was duly impressed with his performance.

Franco’s first of two consecutive episodes of the ABC daytime programming staple airs on Friday, Feb. 25. That is just two days before he co-hosts the Academy Awards on the alphabet net. Franco is widely expected to be a Best Actor nominee that night for “127 Hours.” However, like our panel of pundits, he expects Colin Firth to win the race for “The King’s Speech.” As he revealed to Regis Philben and Kelly Ripa on Tuesday, “I want to take myself out of it. I don’t want to worry about it. Colin Firth can have it. It’ll drive you crazy. I did the movie ‘cuz I love films and that’s my job.”

Photo: James Franco on “General Hospital” (ABC)

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