• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

James Franco Adds NASCAR Grand Marshal to His Long List of Odd Jobs

Jame Franco

The "Oz The Great and Powerful" star will get to call out “drivers start your engines" at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.

What do you do after having guest-starred in a daytime soap opera, hosted the Oscars, penned a monthly column for Playboy and received a degree from nearly half the universities in New York? For James Franco there was only one logical answer: NASCAR.

The Freaks and Geeks alum, who is known for his eclectic employment, can now add grand marshal for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 to his ever-expanding résumé.

“We’re excited to welcome James Franco and have him take part in the pre-race festivities for the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III said. On Sunday, Feb. 24 (the same day as the Oscars) at Daytona International Speedway, Franco will be giving the starting command, “Drivers, start your engines.”

STORY: Mariah Carey Adds Track to Disney's 'Oz The Great and Powerful'

Franco teamed up with his Spider-Man director, Sam Raimi, for the new Disney fantasy adventure Oz The Great and Powerful. Franco plays Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician that takes an unscheduled ride on a passing tornado that transports him to Oz. While there, he is mistaken for a powerful wizard and called upon to help the inhabitants with the magical problems facing their land.   

Franco joins the prestigious list of previous Daytona 500 grand marshals that includes John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, Kate Upton, Jane Lynch and Matthew McConaughey.

The Daytona 500 will air Feb. 24 beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.

Oz The Great and Powerful opens March 8.