Rolling Stone sits down with yummy gay-adjacent actor/writer/artist/whatever James Franco for a chat about his obsession with gay culture. His list of gay-related projects is rather extensive – from movies like Interior.Leather Bar, The Broken Tower, Howl, his short biopic on gay poet Hart Crane, and the film King Cobra (currently in post-production) about murder in the gay porn industry, to Gus van Sant’s Milk, and the film about “ex-gay” activist Michael Glatze, I Am Michael, to name a few. There was also, remember, the time he deep-throated the gun in Spring Breakers, the time he appeared in drag on the cover of Candy, the time he leaked pics of himself canoodling with a boy on Instagram, the time he made out with himself for the New York Times, the time “straight James” interviewed “gay James” … and the list goes on. And on. AND ON. Let’s face it: The guy loves to act gay.
“When I was studying at NYU, I took classes in critical studies, and one of my favorites was on queer cinema. We’ve told the straight, heteronormative stories ad nauseam by now, in our movies, our shows, our commercials – everywhere. I think it’s healthy to make work that disrupts and questions that, and shows alternative narratives. That’s what an artist should do.”
It also looks into his own sexual orientation:
Last spring, he clarified things somewhat, writing in a magazine article, “I’m gay in my art and straight in my life,” adding coyly, “I’m also gay in my life up to the point of intercourse.” But the line separating art from life can grow porous, as on Franco’s Instagram, where he’s posted numerous homoerotic shots of himself – bare-chested in an exercise room, his arm slung around an oiled-up actor in bikini briefs, or looking buff while getting his nipples shaved in a hotel room. Franco tells me he’s approached Instagram, at times, as “a way of finding out what boundaries are and pressing buttons.”