On an unusually crisp Saturday afternoon at the Smyth Hotel
in New York City, James Franco
is busy with yet another Tribeca Film Festival.
The hotel suite he’s in to answer questions about the film, King Cobra
, is filled with personal publicists, film reps, a
photographer shooting Vanity Fair
his co-stars -- Christian Slater
and Garrett Clayton -- as well as the film’s
director, Justin Kelly.
That night, Franco will attend the premiere of King Cobra
, his latest subversive project
about the real-life story of budding gay porn star Sean Lockhart (known as Brent
Corrigan on computer screens) and the murder of Bryan Kocis, the producer who
made him famous.
MORE: James Franco on Falling in Love With Brad Pitt at Sundance
Ahead of its premiere, King
has generated all sorts of suggestive headlines (“James Franco's
Queerest Role Yet
” in Variety
Franco and Keegan Allen Are Sweaty Pigs in New Clip From ‘King Cobra’
” in Towleroad) as
Franco himself has been garnering his own attention for revealing interviews
with Rolling Stone
and New York Magazine
. In the latter, he
said he was “a little gay
” while explaining that his celebrity is the only
reason anyone cares about his sexuality. The quote, of course, generated a flurry
of even more headlines.
And that may be exactly how he intended it.
The conversation about his sexuality extended from the fact
that Franco has previously said he’s gay in his work, which was to explain why
he has starred in such queer films as Milk
which won Sean Penn
an Academy Award for portraying gay rights activist and
politician Harvey Milk; Howl
Allen Ginsberg; Sal,
which he also
wrote and directed;
and Interior. Leather Bar
, an imagining of
the deleted scenes from the controversial 1980 film, Cruising
. Last year, he once again played gay in I Am Michael
(also directed by Kelly),
about the real-life story of Michael Glatze, a gay activist who renounced
homosexuality to become a Christian pastor; and Wild Horses
opposite Robert Duvall.
Vague sexual identity aside, Franco told Rolling Stone
in March that his interest
in queer cinema was a reaction to the production of “straight, heteronormative
stories ad nauseam” in everything from film to TV commercials. “I think it's
healthy to make work that disrupts and questions that, and shows alternative
narratives,” he added.