James Franco Opens Up On His Fascination With Gays
James Franco is making the promotional rounds with the biopic that he directed, Sal, which centers around openly gay Rebel Without A Cause star Sal Mineo.
Franco's apparent fascination with all things gay isn't exactly news, but The Daily Beast questioned him on the recurring gay themes and characters that are present in his work. Here's an excerpt from their interview:
You do seem to be very fascinated with gay characters and capturing their inner struggle amid an inequitable society, whether it’s in Milk, or your films The Broken Tower and Sal. Where do you think this fascination stems from?
It’s not like it’s my mission to tell the stories of as many gay men as possible, although in some cases, I think it is the point. In Milk, the point is to show one of the great fighters for equal rights for the gay community, so I was happy to do that. With characters like Allen Ginsberg [in Howl], my love for him started with his work when I was a teenager. So his sexuality is secondary to me. It’s an important aspect of who he was and his character, but it wasn’t like, “Yes, I want to play another gay role,” it was more, “Yes, I’d love to play another one of my heroes.”
It’s also a huge step forward to even see humanistic portrayals of gay characters onscreen. Growing up, most of the gay characters I was privy to in films were of the camp variety, or in some bizarre cases, as killers like Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. With the exception of Philadelphia, the early ‘90s was a very strange time for gay characters in mainstream cinema.
Yeah. Once I choose a subject, if that’s part of who they are and their character, I’m not going to shy away from portraying that. And of course I’m for equal rights and will do whatever I can do to help make that happen. But I feel like because I’ve done more gay characters, gay scenes, or gay projects than most straight actors, people see it as some sort of mission. It’s more of a case-by-case basis, and just trying to capture figures that I love. I guess that a lot of the figures that I love were gay.
What do you think of Franco's explanation, Instincters?
Sal was released on Nov. 1.