Yep, those screenshots were real — James Franco did, in fact, try to meet up with a 17-year-old via Instagram.
Earlier this week, photos were released of the actor’s conversation with a fan who met him after a performance of his Broadway play Of Mice and Men. When the teen took a video for the social media site, he told her, “You gotta tag me!” She obliged, and that’s how the online conversation, during which the 35-year-old considered getting a hotel room where the foreigner was staying, began.
During an appearance on Live! With Kelly and Michael on Friday, James took the opportunity to address the situation. “I’m embarrassed and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky,” he explained. “It’s a way that people meet each other today, but what I’ve learned is, I guess just because I’m new to it, you don’t know who’s on the other end. You meet somebody in person and you get a feel for them…but you don’t know who you’re talking to.”
The Palo Alto star admitted that he made a mistake in the situation. “I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson,” he said. “Unfortunately, in my position…I have a very good life, but…not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, but sometimes, if I do that, it gets published for the world, so it’s doubly embarrassing.”
Hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan praised James for being open about the incident, and made a quick joke to take the awkwardness out of the conversation. “I promise I won’t reveal our text messages to the world,” Kelly laughed. Check out the whole thing above.