Did James Franco try to pick up a 17-year-old girl?

James Franco attends TimesTalks at Times Center on March 7, 2014, in New York. Getty Images

James Franco became a trending topic Thursday afternoon following a report that the 35-year-old actor tried to pick up a 17-year-old girl. "Creepy" was the word that came to mind for many folks hearing about the story for the first time.

This tale could very well be fabricated, but Gawker posted a series of screen shots of the supposed exchange on imgur (they've since been removed) between Lucy Clode and a man who said he was Franco.

Clode apparently visited New York City for an early 18th birthday trip. While there, she met Franco outside his Broadway production of "Of Mice and Men." She took an Instagram video of the actor -- and in it, he says, "You gotta tag me." The clip has since been deleted.

Apparently she did. If the exchanges are real -- then the conversation picked online and via text with the two possibly coordinating a meet-up at a hotel.

"You're single? .. Should I rent a room?" the guy asks.

Clode then asks him to confirm that he's really James Franco. Two photos are shown in the exchanged (it definitely looks like Franco), but it doesn't appear that they ever met up.

On Thursday, Franco seemingly responded to the buzzy story, but not before being called "creepy" by countless people on Twitter.


Go here to see the screen grabs of the reported exchange.

Interestingly enough, in his new movie, "Palo Alto," Franco plays a high school soccer coach who hooks up with one of his teen players, portrayed by Emma Roberts. The movie, which debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month, saw a new trailer hit the Web this week.

Perhaps a publicity stunt?

See the trailer here:


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