Okay, we get it. James Franco has played a lot of roles in his career – everything from a psychopathic artist on “General Hospital” to a greasy stoner in “Pineapple Express” and a zillion other characters in between. And some of those roles have been gay characters.
Three, to be more accurate.
For some reason, the fact that Franco has “played gay” three times – in a resume of over 50 characters – fascinates people endlessly. The latest media outlet to quiz Franco on his character choices is EW, in their latest cover story.
“It’s funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs
is so black-and-white,” Franco tells them. “It’s all cut-and-dry identity
politics. ‘Is he straight or is he gay?’ Or, ‘This is your third gay
movie — come out already!’ And all based on, gay or straight, based on
the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality.”
That sounds like a very intriguing, thoughtful version of “none of your beeswax” to us.
The homosexual characters Franco played are a generation-defining beat poet, noted activist Scott Smith, and massively influential poet Hart Crane. (We notice that nobody is clamoring to ask Franco about his tendency to play poets. Or potheads. Or romantic leads.)
“There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than
wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys,” he says. “And there
are also lots of other aspects about these characters that I’m
interested in, in addition to their sexuality.. Part of what
I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative
lifestyles contended with opposition.”
We think it’s awesome that Franco is open to all kinds of roles, that he’s interested in the historical struggle of homosexuals in an intolerant society, and that he’s got an intelligent answer to this highly repetitive question. But the focus on his characters’ sexuality is getting pretty old. Plus, it seems like we’ve already gotten the answer we’ve been prodding him for. “Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay,” Franco finally says to EW.
Awesome. Now let’s ask him a new question, citizens of the world. May we suggest “Why the ‘stache?”