The evolution of James Franco has been as entertaining as most of his films. The actor has never failed to remind the world that he’s not only a Hollywood star, but an artist, a writer, a director, and a musician, among other things. On numerous occassions, Franco has also experimented with homosexuality in his work—he’s even said he's gay in his art and straight in his personal life.
Photograph by Mark Seliger
Rolling Stone caught up with Franco to discuss his indie career, his mainstream career, and his gay career. Here’s what we learned:
On his filmmaking class at USC:
"It's a total filmmaking class: In the fall, the writing students come up with a concept, and in the spring, I take over and we shoot it."
On the ill fate of his passion projects:
"I know that if I direct an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, about a necrophiliac, a lot of people aren't going to see it. But it's a fucking dream of mine."
On his obsession with queer culture:
"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.”
On Gawker calling him a “Gay Rapist”:
"Gawker picked it up, and other sites picked it up, and we said, 'You know, you should take it down. And Gawker said, 'Well, if you have a response, we're happy to print it.' It felt like, if I do a lawsuit, it's just gonna give it more attention."
So in response, he made a film called GR (Gay Rapist).
On the gay rumors:
"One of the nice things about all that speculation is that it's a smokescreen."