I hope you all realize how lucky you are to be in this position right now. Looking up on stage, at a man with deep brown eyes, a flawless head of hair, chiseled good looks, staring right back at you. And I’m just talking about Arlington U president James D. Spaniolo!!! (Note: point to Spaniolo) You’re leading the charge, Spaniolo. Great stuff.
(OPTIONAL: When I say James, y’all say Spaniolo! James! Spaniolo! James! Spaniolo!)
In all seriousness, you guys are incredibly lucky. There’s no better feeling than the sense of accomplishment that comes with graduating. It’s such a good feeling that I’ve been chasing it for the last 6 years. I have a BA, a few Masters, and I’m currently pursuing a PhD. Seriously. I think I’m developing a bit of a problem. It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t graduate something within a 6-month period, I start getting the shakes, I break out with hives. I wake up with cold sweats. Cotton mouth is becoming a pesky little issue. So I feel very privileged to be here today just to get a taste of that sweet graduation feeling. If I’m being completely honest, I’m already starting to get a contact high off it. So thank you for that.
I know a lot of you are probably looking at me on stage and thinking, “Why should we listen to you? You’ve never enrolled in our school, you’re not from Texas, you have no connection to us whatsoever. You’re just a spoiled actor, celebrated the world over.” But the truth is, I’m not just a spoiled actor. I’m also a filmmaker, an author, a teacher, a lover of pets, and an organ donor. The point is, I try to be a lot of things. I’ve been fortunate enough to explore various areas of interest in my life, and I hope the same for all of you.—James Franco (his favourite part of his speech to the graduates of UT Arlington)
James Franco and Solange Knowles at the GQ party in New York