Friend of the Family: James Franco
Do I love James Franco because he’s a straight guy who has no qualms about playing high profile gay roles? (In this year’s Howl he’s poet Allen Ginsberg, and in 2008’s Milk he was Harvey’s longtime lover. He also won a Golden Globe for playing James Dean, and then there’s that speculation about the true nature of his relationship with Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express, but we won’t go there.)
How about the fact that before he got down and dirty as a male prostitute in Sonny, he did research by going on an actual trick with a pay-for-play stripper and then detailed the experience in a humorous piece he wrote for UCLA’s literary journal Westwind (“Not that it was fun being with that old guy—he was nasty,” he joked, “but it was fun participating with Jason and Maury.”)?
Do I love the fact that this actor who came to fame in the zillion dollar grossing Spider-Man franchise is cool enough to call the producers of General Hospital to ask if he can be on their show? Or that instead of sitting back counting his money he's
using it to further his education (in addition to studying film at NYU
and writing at Columbia, he was just accepted to Yale’s Ph.D. program
in English)? What about the fact that he has no problem kissing guys on television or speaking out in favor of gay rights? Or that as a filmmaking student, his projects were inspired by gay poetry?
None of the above.
There are plenty of reasons to love James Franco. And yes, many of them make me question how straight he is. But if James were gay, would I love him more than I already do? Not at all. Frankly, I think it’s enough to love James Franco because he’s playful, talented, and sexually ambiguous enough to be whatever we choose to fantasize him as.
Plus he's easy on the eyes. What could be more lovable than that?