James Franco, From 'Freaks' To 'Milk' Initially known for his role on the short-lived but critically acclaimed TV series Freaks and Geeks, the actor stars alongside Sean Penn in Gus Van Sant's newest film.

James Franco, From 'Freaks' To 'Milk'

James Franco, From 'Freaks' To 'Milk'

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Love interest: James Franco plays Harvey Milk's partner, Scott Smith, in Gus Van Sant's new biopic. Focus Features hide caption

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Focus Features

Love interest: James Franco plays Harvey Milk's partner, Scott Smith, in Gus Van Sant's new biopic.

Focus Features

Actor James Franco stars alongside Sean Penn in Gus Van Sant's new film Milk, which opens Nov. 26 in some cities. He plays Scott Smith, the boyfriend of title character Harvey Milk, a pioneering gay activist and San Francisco politician who was murdered in 1978.

Initially known for his role on the short-lived but critically acclaimed TV series Freaks and Geeks, Franco entered the popular film scene in earnest when he played Harry Osborne in the Spider-Man movies alongside his close friend Tobey Maguire.