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Winner Experience: Have Your Portrait Painted by James Franco

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What’s better than a selfie with your favorite celeb? We think a portrait of you two together painted by the celebrity themself is probably up there. Jackson from Queensland, Australia, had the trip of a lifetime to LA. He hung out with and got a custom painting from actor, writer, producer, teacher and artist James Franco.

How did it all go down?
It was really, really, amazing just that I even won. I took my mum and it was just so awesome. Meeting James was fantastic, he was such a cool dude. We hung out outside the studio where he was recording an audiobook, just hanging out and talking like we were already friends. Even just being in LA was crazy because we had never been before.


What kind of stuff did you guys talk about?
We talked about uni[versity] and he asked about my degree. It was a real conversation. I asked about other celebrities he knows—like how he’s friends with the cast of That 70’s Show. He said how he’s been to a party with Russell Brand and it was just crazy. We talked about his acting and stuff and how he teaches at uni[versity]—it was just a little bit of everything.

How did you decide what he was going to paint?
We took a lot of photos and he ended up doing a painting later based off a photo of us. It’s so cool and as soon as I got it I hung it up in my lounge room.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 10.25.44 AM

Was there anything about James that surprised you?
Nah, he was really how he portrays himself in the media. He was just a chill, cool guy. You know how they say you don’t want to meet your heroes because they won’t be as great in person? But he was just so awesome and exactly as cool as i thought he’d be. He’s just a great guy who’s really good at what he does.

What part of the day really stood out to you?
There was this moment about 20 minutes into our conversation where I just looked over to James Franco and it was this surreal, crazy realization where I was like “Woah, this is actually happening.” It was insane.

What did you tell your friends about the experience?
A lot of them actually didn’t believe me at first. Once I was there and had pictures they were in awe and like, “You’re so lucky, that’s crazy!”

All in all, how would you describe your day?
Best day ever—definitely just all around amazing. It was just a really really good time.

Thanks Jackson, and thank you all so much for supporting (RED) and their mission towards an AIDS FREE GENERATION.


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