US actor James Franco poses during the photocall of "Spring breakers" during the 69th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2012 at Venice Lido. "Spring breakers" is competing for the Golden Lion in the Venezia 69 section of the festival. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

London - James Franco fell asleep on a date.

The 'Oz, The Great and Powerful' actor took rumoured girlfriend Ashley Benson to a midnight screening of new James Bond movie 'Skyfall' but the pair couldn't keep their eyes open and kept nodding off throughout the film.

One fellow moviegoer at Hollywood's ArcLight Theater told the New York Post newspaper: "They tried to stay incognito catching a late show together. But both James and Ashley fell asleep. They were woken up by theatre staff at the end of the movie."

James was first linked to 'Pretty Little Liars' actress Ashley in September and insiders say the pair are smitten with each other.

A source said last month: "They have been seeing each other for a little over a month, but things are going well."

Last year, James - who claims he is single - revealed he had split from his long-term girlfriend Ahna O'Reilly after dating her for five years.

He admitted the long-distance had become too much for them as he was studying English at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, while she stayed in Los Angeles.

He said: "That [relationship] lasted about four or five years. We'd been living together in LA then I came to New York to go to school for two years.

"Then I signed up for more school at Yale. I think that was it for her." - Bang ShowBiz