Battle of the Leading Men: Russell Brand Vs. James Franco

Actors James Franco and Russell Brand come from two different worlds: Franco grew up in California, Brand in the U.K. and Franco is currently earning his Ph.D in English from Yale while Brand got his education from the School of Hard Knocks.

However, the two men aren’t that different after all – both are releasing new movies this weekend with Brand in “Arthur” and Franco in “Your Highness.” That’s not all they have in common, surprisingly – but who wins in the battle of greatness? Let’s measure the similarities.


Perpetual student Franco and funnyman Brand have both released books – Franco released “Palo Alto” in 2010 and Brand has authored two memoirs “My Booky Wook” and “My Booky Wook 2.”

How did both books fare? Franco received a lashing from critics, while Brand’s books were praised for his honesty on everything from drug use to promiscuity.

“Many will find Brand to be a somewhat reprehensible character – but he’s definitely a funny writer,” writer Clark Collis wrote in a 2009 review in Entertainment Weekly. “My Booky Wook” is a richly detailed memoir that’s peppered with both evocative descriptions of the author’s homeland and memorable lines such as ”It is my personal belief that you cannot consider your life complete until you’ve been indoor go-kart racing with twenty junkies.”

As for Franco? Ouch.

“With his recently-published debut book, “Palo Alto,” now on shelves, students can now see Franco through his own literary lens as he writes about his native California,” writer Olivia Wong wrote in 2010. “Within the work as a whole, this style tends to get repetitive and, eventually, one story starts bleeding into the next. With 11 stories spread over about 200 pages, the fact that most of the stories have a different narrator of different gender, age, and background contributes to a certain monotony. The narrative voice becomes stale after the first half of the book.”

Writing winner: Russell Brand

Social Media Expertise

Both actors are on Twitter – Brand (@rustyrockets) has been on the social media site for a couple of years now, while Franco only joined right before his hosting gig on the 2011 Academy Awards. However, Brand is the one who embraces Twitter; Franco decries it.

In fact, Franco even recently decided that social media is “dead.”

“Social media is over. Still up there. Going down. You heard it here first,” Franco told Politico. He deleted his Twitter account last week.

Why do we think Franco hates social media? Because he’s been criticized for things he’s written on the micro-blogging platform – including an attack against comedian Bruce Villanch after Franco’s tepid Oscars performance.

Social media winner: Russell Brand, again.

Female Attraction

Franco and Brand have never had problems getting the ladies – Franco has his coverboy good looks and Brand’s comedy and flirtatious nature was enough to get hundreds – maybe even thousands – of women to sleep with him over the years.

So who’s the winner here? Brand. Are you seeing a theme here? Well, Brand put a ring on one of the most eligible female celebs – Katy Perry – while Franco is just dating actress Ahna O’Reilly and battling rumors.

Bet you didn’t think Brand would sweep all the categories, did you?

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