Tomorrow I will possibly be getting to meet James Franco’s grandmother. While I most likely won’t be meeting James, the star himself, I’ll settle for a blood relative. Besides, his grandmother seems pretty cool. I actually talked to her on the phone on Tuesday! But let’s back up for a second. If you didn’t already know, apparently James Franco and I were destined to meet. Just read this as proof. It’s true, James Franco and I have mutual family connections. His grandmother was once friends with my grandmother. We go waaay back, and that’s just pretty cool.
So as I was saying, I got to talk to James Franco’s grandmother, Mitzi Verne the other day. The backstory is that I’m going to Cleveland, Ohio this weekend to see both sides of my family who live there, since I haven’t seen them in a while. I’ll be staying the night with my dad’s dad, who’s first wife happened to be Mitzi Verne’s friend. My grandfather knew I wanted to meet Mitzi Verne for a few reasons (her friendship with my grandmother whom I never met, since she died before I was born, her involvement in the Cleveland arts community, and of course her grandson, famed actor, James Franco) and after some possible planning with her, he finally just gave me her phone number saying that if I wanted to meet her, I’d have to call her and arrange it like an adult. What?! Who me? Call up James Franco’s grandmother? It was kind of an awkward thing to do, but I really wanted to get a chance to see her, so I did.
I wrote down what I was going to say to her, so I could sound like I knew what I was saying, and not bumble around searching for words out of nervous excitement. I called her up, kind of hoping she wouldn’t answer so I could leave a collected phone message and say everything I wanted to say. Mitzi Verne picked up the phone. I introduced myself to her, telling her of our family connection and that I was interested in her involvement in the arts, since I was an artist. She told me that a few of the Verne family members have an art gallery, The Verne Gallery in Cleveland that has a fantastic collection of Japanese prints.
And then before I could mention my adoration for her grandson, she beat me to it, telling me how she just got back from the premier of his latest movie, “127 Hours.” Apparently James Franco invites her to all of his premiers. Mitzi was telling me about the premier and about how she got to meet (the real) Aron Ralston, of whom the movie is about and that she did not get to meet Danny Boyle, the film’s director. And that she was very tired from the premier and such. She told me about how people are always asking her if she is proud of her grandson, James and that she is. And that James’ performance in this last movie of his would likely get him an Oscar nomination.
She and I talked for a good almost 10 minutes before she told me she would really enjoy meeting me in person, rather than our “meeting” over the phone. She was really interested in talking to me and wanted to continue our conversation further. She instructed me to give her a call Saturday morning when I arrived in Cleveland and we could try to arrange a meeting. (How exciting!)
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So my question is this: what do I ask the grandmother of James Franco? I already have a few questions of my own, but if any of you would like me to ask anything, please let me know! Question ideas are most welcome!