Oh James Franco, where to start? Remember in February when everybody was getting weirded out by Shia LaBeouf and his Berlin paper bag ‘I am not famous anymore’ incident? Well one person who jumped to the actor’s defence was James Franco, by way of a NY Times article entitled ‘Why Actors Act Out’. In the piece he writes that he hoped Shia’s recent antics were “intended as a piece of performance art, one in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona.” Now over two months on, Shia’s antics are out of the press and it’s Franco’s own behaviour which is taking up tabloid inches.

James francoJames Franco, it's not a selfie, he's fully clothed

First there was the incident when Franco appeared to be inviting a 17 year old fan to join him in a hotel room. After the screen capped exchange went viral Franco didn't seem to deny that the incident happened and would later tell Howard Stern that he felt he’d acted like a “gentleman” towards the young fan. This was not what the rest of Franco’s fanbase where expecting, because really the whole thing seemed too much like an elaborate stunt to promote Franco’s movie, Palo Alto, which is out later this month.

In the movie, which is based on one of the actor’s own short stories, Franco’s character, a soccer coach, has an affair with a much younger pupil played by Emma Roberts. The problem here is, if Franco’s Instagram pickup was just a stunt, he’s still playing along and we’re none the wiser, plus it doesn't look like things are getting any clearer.

More: So what happened between James and Lindsay Lohan?

Franco’s next bit of online weirdness came last week, when he posted a near naked selfie to Instagram and then quickly removed it (not too quickly though, as a screen capped version is all over the internet still.) Franco’s been a fan of the ‘suggestive selfie’ for a while previously posting a picture of himself in bed with the caption “what happened? I was waiting for you.”

Franco has in the past spoken of how he enjoys using the medium of ‘selfies’ to create a public reaction. In another self penned NY Times piece he went on for nearly 800 words about the meaning and power of ‘the selfie’ which he later concluded were “the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

But now it seems, if James is trying to tell us “hello this is me”, most people just want to wave him a quick goodbye. From the underaged flirting, to the selfies and lets not even get into the ‘portraits’ of Seth Rogen, James seems to making us all feel rather uncomfortable and wondering where the talent, intelligent Franco we once loved has gone

James FrancoJames Franco, is it all just a stunt?

Will it all turn out to be one big rouse designed to get us talking about James and the nature of the celebrity in the 21st century? We still hope so, though really if that is the aim you have to wonder has it been achieved or instead, has he just somewhat tarnished his reputation?

More: Before all this, James was on 'Freaks and Geeks', remember?

Really James, we’ve all enjoyed your work, ever since we first saw you in ‘Freaks and Geeks’, you seemed a little bit cooler, a little bit smarter than the usual Hollywood type. But now, if this all is an ‘experiment’ please just let us in on the joke, cause frankly we’re starting to get a little creeped out.