James Franco opens up about midlife crisis and new relationship

42nd Toronto International Film Festival - 'The Disaster Artist' - Premiere Featuring: James Franco Where: Toronto, Canada When: 11 Sep 2017 Credit: Jaime Espinoza/

James Franco insists he's been through a midlife crisis as he "re-prioritizes" what's important in his life, which now includes a new girlfriend.

The "127 Hours" actor turns 40 next April (18) and has found himself in the midst of change after a busy few years full of high, lows and one incident which hit headlines in 2014 when the then 35-year-old reportedly tried to book a hotel room with a 17-year-old British schoolgirl.

He's since abandoned social media and is focusing on more meaningful things, such as his newly-confirmed partner of "four months", who is thought to be Los Angeles TV publicist Isabel Pakzad.

"I guess it’s called a midlife crisis," he told London's Evening Standard Magazine. "I’ve certainly hit a wall this past year. It’s not like I went out and had to buy a Ferrari or anything like that. It was more about re-prioritizing and figuring out what was meaningful. I’ve been known as a guy that just did a lot of things. I (already) went through a lot of the phases I think people go through in their midlife crisis. So for me it was really about cutting back and focusing, and figuring out what I really wanted to spend my time on."

James is currently gearing up for the release of his film The Disaster Artist and can also be seen in TV show The Deuce, about the porn industry in 1970s New York.

This isn't the first time the star has been involved in a project based on this particular area; he previously appeared in a 2013 biopic based on pornstar Linda Lovelace, who was played by Amanda Seyfried while James portrayed late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

"I met (Hugh) at a tribute to George Clooney," James recalled. "Hef had his own table with a bunch of Playmates. I knew one of them so I was like, 'Heyyy!' And she was kind of like, sotto voce, 'Go away! Hef’s going to get angry!' I didn’t realize I wasn’t supposed to talk to her. He just sort of gave me a dirty look."

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