Actor James Franco's Toe-Curling Flirtation With Schoolgirl

James Franco
James Franco

If this isn't all just a publicity stunt, then actor James Franco, 35, has been left looking rather silly by a Scottish teenage schoolgirl he tried to seduce online.

Lucy Clode, 17, bumped into the star in New York on a birthday trip with her mum, before posting a short video of their encounter.

It appears the video, which shows Franco in a cap and glasses, caught the 127 Hours actor's attention and he contacted the teenager.

In screen shots of the exchange posted online - which appear to be from Franco's verified account - the actor asks her where she's from, how long she's in New York, who she's with, where she's staying, and whether or not she has a boyfriend.

Lucy explained her trip to New York was a gift for her 18th birthday, which was in a few days.

The actor responded: "You're 18?"

He then asked for her phone number. Then added: "You're single? Where's your hotel? Should I rent a room?"

When the schoolgirl from Dollar, Clackmannanshire, demanded that he prove he was the real deal, the star sent her an image of himself waving.

He then continued with his demands: "Yes or no? Tomorrow or Thursday."

After the teenager made Franco take a picture of himself holding a piece of paper with her name on it, he seemed to change his mind about the whole deal - after discovering the girl's 18th birthday is in MAY - not days away.

After this bizarre attempt at courtship went viral, James tweeted to his 1.8 million followers that he's not into under-age girls and told parents to keep their teens away from him.

But was it all real? Cynics online claimed it could be a publicity stunt for James's upcoming movie Palo Alto, which is based on his own collection of short stories and comes out on May 9.

Franco plays a soccer coach who seduces his 14-year-old baby sitter. Hmmm, the plot thickens!