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James Franco. (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

On Nov. 6, actor James Franco will take the stage at Irvine Auditorium as part of the Social Planning and Events Committee’s fall Connaissance speaker series.

Franco, who hosted this year’s Academy Awards alongside actress Anne Hathaway, was also nominated as best actor for his performance in 127 Hours. He is widely known for his role in Spiderman and won a Golden Globe in 2002 for his lead role in James Dean, a biographical film made for television.

“I think he’s going to offer something different to the students,” SPEC Connaissance Director and Wharton junior Crystal Lu said, adding that he has “a lot to offer in terms of educational values, experience in the industry and a lot of different life advice.”

TWEETS: Students react to James Franco choice
GALLERY: Photos of past Connaissance speakers

Franco is currently teaching a graduate film class at New York University. A certified pilot, he also has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University and is enrolled in an English Ph.D. program at Yale University. To date, he has written and starred in two self-directed movies — Fool’s Gold and Good Time Max.

“We’re looking forward to the unique blend of perspectives that he will bring to campus,” SPEC President and College senior Shana Rusonis said.

Engineering sophomore Yuvraj Mohan was excited to hear the news.

“I’ve never seen him speak in person before. I think it’ll be interesting,” Mohan said.

However, some students were unsure of who Franco was.

“Isn’t he in Spiderman or something?” Nursing senior Lauren Olsen asked.

In the past, SPEC Connaissance has hosted figures including comedian and actor Bill Cosby, CNN host Anderson Cooper, Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers and former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Starting Thursday, tickets will be available for purchase online at an advance price of $5. Irvine Auditorium, where the event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m., seats 1,200 people. From Oct. 31, tickets will be priced at $10 and will be available both online and on Locust Walk. Limited to two per person, tickets are only available to PennCard holders.

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