updated 05/03/2010 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/03/2010 AT 4:55 PM ET
James Franco has played a spaced out stoner, a jealous rich boy and a Hollywood icon, but the actor s favorite role is being a student.
“I love school,” Franco told PEOPLE at the Tribeca Film Festival screening of his directorial debut, the documentary Saturday Night, in New York Sunday. “I go to school because I love being around people who are interested in what I m interested in and I m having a great experience.”
The Pineapple Express star, 32, graduated from UCLA with an undergraduate degree in English in June 2008. He also enrolled in an MFA writing program at New York’s Columbia University, and is now studying filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.