Apparently, James Franco has a bone to pick with the New York Times' theater critic. And it's anything but bite-size.
The 35-year-old actor, who made his Broadway debut in Of Mice and Men during the play's official opening on April 16, took to Instagram to vent his frustrations after the NYT's Ben Brantley wrote a less-than-favorable scathing review of production, in which he slammed Franco's performance.
Directed by Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County), Of Mice and Men stars Franco as dreamer George and Chris O'Dowd as simple-minded Lennie as well as Leighton Meester, who plays Curley's wife, yet even with the star-studded cast, Brantley was left unimpressed.
"Somehow Ms. Shapiro's handsome, meticulously designed production (featuring impressive Walker Evans-evoking sets by Todd Rosenthal) feels about as fluid as a diorama in a history museum. And its two undeniably talented leading men, though known as quirky and adventurous screen stars, here wear their archetypes like armor," he writes.
And he doesn't stop there.
"Though he sports a Yosemite Sam accent, Mr. Franco is often understated to the point of near invisibility. It's a tight, internal performance begging for a camera's close-up," Brantley says. "And only in the play's second scene — in a bunkhouse, where Lennie retells George about the dream farm they'll someday own together — did I sense a warming current of affection between the characters."
His remarks, apparently, left Franco fuming with anger, and the thesp took to Instagram to share his not-so-subtle response.
"SADLY BEN BRANTLEY AND THE NYT HAVE EMBARASSED THEMSELVES," Franco wrote. "BRANTLEY IS SUCH A LITTLE BITCH HE SHOULD BE WORKING FOR GAWKER.COM INSTEAD OF THE PAPER OF RECORD. THE THEATRE COMMUNITY HATES HIM."
The Instagram post, which has now been deleted, was accompanied by a link to a positive review of the play, posted by Variety. There is now simply a screengrab of a glowing review which reads, "a performance that's equally honest and beautifully crafted: James Franco and Chris O'Dowd win rave reviews for Of Mice and Men," which Franco captioned, "BOOM BOOM BOOM."
The incident comes on the heels of Franco's latest Instagram snafu after he was caught trying to trying to initiate a hotel hookup with a 17-year-old girl on the photo-sharing site.
"I used bad judgment. I learned my lesson," he later said during his appearance on Live! With Kelly and Michael.