James Franco on Sexuality, Gay Rumors and New Films

James Franco (photo:Vanessa Lua)

James Franco is involved with three movies that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week.

Though his role in the films are different, each are connected by their themes: sex, porn and bondage.

He’s co-directing and has a featured role in "Interior. Leather Bar.", a film that reimagines segments cut from the iconic gay film "Cruising." He also produced "kink," a documentary about Kink.com, which the leading producer of bondage-and discipline porn.

In addition, he plays Hugh Hefner in "Lovelace," the biopic about porn superstar Linda Lovelace starring Amanda Seyfried.

For "Interior. Leather Bar.", the controversial, hour-long film that evokes the notorious 1980 thriller, Franco once more immerses himself in gay culture. He has had featured roles in "Milk," "Howl" and, most recently, starred as gay poet Hart Crane in the yet released "The Broken Tower." Because of his numerous gay roles, gay rumors have swirled around him for years. When asked by MTV about them recently, he said he’s not bothered by them.

"In high school these girls got mad at me and so they spread this rumor that I was having a gay relationship with one of my closest friends," he told MTV News. "And they even made up a little dance they would do in the girl’s locker room about me being gay. I still don’t know what the dance was."

This may explain why the 34-year-old Hollywood cutie hasn’t shied away from portraying Allen Ginsberg in "Howl" or Scott Smith, the boyfriend of Harvey Milk, in "Milk."

Franco also told MTV that hearing gay rumors now isn’t "anything new."

"And in fact, it wasn’t something that frightened me, like if people think that, it’s fine. I really don’t care," he added.

Franco, who will also star as "Playboy" founder Hugh Hefner in an upcoming biopic about 70s porn star Linda Lovelace, also said that people should not be ashamed of their sexual orientation.

"It’s hard to put certain kinds of sex in film," Franco told MTV. "Now, I could sort of understand that if it wasn’t so easy to put other kinds of things in film, like violence. Obviously, there’s some weird standard here that is just illogical."

"Sex and sexuality are such big parts of our lives - the ways that we define ourselves, the ways that we interact with each other," he continued. "Everyone thinks about it. Everyone knows about it. Even if you insist on living an incredibly chaste life and you’re chaste in your thoughts, that’s a conscious and concerted effort to keep sex from your thoughts. So you’re still engaging with sex even if it’s in a negative capacity. It’s a huge part of our lives. It’s part of being human."

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