NEW YORK — James Franco says his recent Instagram postings of himself in bed – alone or not – are his way of sharing a “very kind of intimate portrait” of himself and to get people talking.

“It’s not like I’m exposing myself or anything,” he said in an interview Thursday.

Franco calls selfies and Instagram phenomena “that I am just playing around with like everybody else” to see what kind of reaction it evokes. He says when he takes pictures of himself, “It’s almost like it’s connected to you” and that by putting “that intimate space out there it’s kind of this new thing that we’re all getting used to.”

He also says that it “obviously causes a lot of stir,” noting that he was being asked about the photos by reporters.

The actor, author and director wrote in a New York Times essay last December titled “The Meanings Of The Selfie” that he has “become increasingly addicted to Instagram” and acknowledged that he has “been accused of posting too many of them.”

Franco was recently caught trying to pick up a Scottish teenage girl on the photo-sharing app. He later apologized on the morning talk show “Live With Kelly and Michael,” saying he used “bad judgment” and “learned my lesson.”