James Franco: “Maybe I’m Gay”

““It’s funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white. 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. There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys. And there are also lots of other aspects about these characters that I’m interested in, in addition to their sexuality. So, in some ways it’s coincidental, in other ways it’s not. I mean, I’ve played a gay man who’s living in the ’60s and ’70s, a gay man who we depicted in the ‘50s, and one being in the ‘20s. And those were all periods when to be gay, at least being gay in public, was much more difficult. Part of what I’m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe I’m just gay.”

I used to think James Franco was the #1 most annoying celebrity in the world, in large part because he’s in a relationship with a woman but seems more than content to let people question his sexuality so he can make headlines. (Dude loves making headlines.) I mean, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are the two most famous straight-men-who-played-it-gay actors (“Brokeback Mountain“) and they never made 1/4th the kerfluffle about that James Franco has. So many gays, lesbians and trans-persons are forced to live in the closet. I don’t think the “am I or am I not?” stuff is cutesy or clever.

But while I still think James is hella annoying, this quote makes me reconsider his degree of douche-itude regarding the gay stuff. First of all, it’s extremely cool that there’s someone in Hollywood who can talk knowledgeably about “identity politics.” And second of all, this is so true: “[It’s] all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality.” I dig the gender analysis, James. I do. But maybe you should stop seeming to enjoy the hullabaloo so much and just put a moratorium on talking about your own sex life — real or fake — in the press. [Entertainment Weekly]