James Franco Discusses Why He Takes On Gay Roles


Is it because he wants to challenge himself and his craft beyond the roles most actors his age seek out or is it because he feels that with his understanding of how LGBT men and women are just as rich in character and emotion? Or that he ambiguously approach sexuality and gender identity in general?

These are just a few questions many fans of actor James Franco think about as he has such a tendency to take on characters in his films that have an ambivalent sexuality or roles that have a strongly suggestive gay nature. Recently the eccentric Franco sat down for another interview to discuss in more detail why he takes on these roles. Here’s an excerpt as Franco was talking about his upcoming film Interior, Leather Bar and talks about the fluidity in his nature that influences why he takes on these roles:

I guess for me it helps define limits of what we think is, you know, acceptable in film and in certain areas. I mean, in my own life and professional life, I still get a little confused, because I do a lot of different kinds of films and projects. I can go on the Internet and just as easily download The Little Mermaid as I can porn in two seconds, and so can anybody. Where it gets tricky is when certain kinds of lifestyles or certain kinds of content is framed by or shown in certain places, then people get weird. I like that this film asked me and the other people in it, “What are your boundaries? How do you feel about certain kinds of content, certain kinds of depictions of specific lifestyles? How do you feel about interacting with it? What part does it play in your own life?” I think the movie both discusses those things and then also enacts those things because of the things that are shown and discussed. I guess if that helps people start to think about those things or talk about those things, that’s really enough for me. We did this movie; I’m so proud and happy about the way that we made it, because its success does not need to be determined by blockbuster numbers. This is a movie that lives by its own rules, and despite that, it’s gone to great places. It can do more mainstream kind of audiences; it isn’t just pushed to the fringe. It has had all kinds of audiences, which I think is one of the points of making a movie like this.

Franco also mentions his experience with observing how necessary it is to show authentic storytelling about this community., Definitely a good read to understand what he meant. If only the rest of Hollywood were willing to embrace our culture.


Sly Merritt has a BA in psychology/sociology. MA in clinical psychology. He's a flip flop wearing hippy with a peaceloving mindset. Even pacifists like him know when it's time to do all we can for LGBTQ equality. Sly's views are all opinions not advice.

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