James Franco Writes Short Story About Lindsay Lohan

Truth rating: 10
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By Daniel Gates

(Getty Images)

James Franco has written a short story for Vice called “Bungalow 89,” inspired by the time Lindsay Lohan allegedly refused to leave him alone while both stars were at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.

The piece alternates between Franco ruminating on everything from Gus Van Sant and his own Gucci ad campaign to memories of late-night (sexless) hours with Lohan at his bungalow.

Franco reads J.D. Salinger selections to Lohan and listens as she opens up about her drug use and escapades. The line between reality and fiction is often blurred, and the whole thing is kind of… weird.

Here is a passage from Franco’s story:

There was a Hollywood girl staying at Chateau Marmont. She had gotten a key to my room from the manager. I heard her put the key into my front door and turn it, but I had slid the dead bolt and that thing—I don’t know what you call it; it’s like a chain but made of two bars—that kept the door from opening.

She said, ‘James, open the door.’

Across the room was a picture of a boy dressed as a sailor with a red sailor cap, and except for his blondish hair (closer to my brother’s color) he looked like me.

She said, ‘Open the door, you bookworm punk blogger f*ggot.’

Another passage:

She knocked on the door. She was in her pajamas. She had bare feet.

Once upon a time a guy, a Hollywood guy, read some Salinger to a young woman who hadn’t read him before. Let’s call this girl Lindsay. She was a Hollywood girl, but a damaged one. I knew that she would like Salinger, because most young women do. I read her two of the Nine Stories, ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ and ‘For Esmé—with Love and Squalor.’ ‘Bananafish’ was great because it has a nagging mother on the other end of the phone line, nothing like Lindsay’s real mother, but still, the mother-daughter thing was good for her to hear. And there’s the little girl in the story, Sibyl, and the pale suicide, Seymour, who kisses her foot and talks about bananafish with her, those fantastic phallic fish who stick their heads in holes and gorge themselves—it should be called ‘A Perfect Day for Dickfish’—and then, bam, he shoots himself.

Then I read ‘For Esmé,”’which is basically the same story as ‘A Perfect Day for Dickfish.’ A man goes to war. He is traumatized. Then he is saved by the innocence of a young girl. The structure of this story is very nice. Yes, stories, stories, stories, stories. S-t-o-r-i-e-s.

And a final excerpt:

I ran my fingers through her hair and thought about this girl sleeping on my chest, our fictional Hollywood girl, Lindsay. What will she do? I hope she gets better. You see, she is famous. She was famous because she was a talented child actress, and now she’s famous because she gets into trouble. She is damaged. For a while, after her high hellion days, she couldn’t get work because she couldn’t get insured. They thought she would run off the sets to party. Her career suffered, and she started getting arrested (stealing, DUIs, car accidents, other things). But the arrests, even as they added up, were never going to be an emotional bottom for her, because she got just as much attention for them as she used to get for her film performances. She would get money offers for her jailhouse memoirs, crazy offers. So how would she ever stop the craziness when the response to her work and the response to her life had converged into one? Two kinds of performance, in film and in life, had melted into one.

But I suppose a tabloid-performance run is limited for anyone. After a while it’s just an out-of-control vehicle running on fumes.

What do you think?

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