James Franco Is All About Gay Sex

By: Jase Peeples
1.16.2013

Photo: Getty Images

Interior. Leather Bar., the new art film from James Franco and Travis Mathews, premiers at this week’s Sundance Film Festival and has gained a lot of attention for its candid exploration of gay sex.

The film is a 60-minute reimagining of footage that was rumored to have been taken out of William Friedkin’s 1980 gay classic Cruising.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Franco opened up about why he was prompted to jump into co-directing a film about the gay S&M scene. “I really liked certain aspects of the old movie Cruising, with Al Pacino,” Franco told EW. “I know there was controversy when it was made. Friedkin, by putting a serial killer in the gay community, he sort of implied that sort of lifestyle led to murder and other horrible scenes. It was at a time the gay rights movement was just getting on its feet.” “I was interested in a lot of things with that original movie and didn’t want to remake the movie.”

When asked why he was interested in working with Travis Mathews, a director known for movies focusing on gay men, Franco said, “I felt it was really hard to find people engaging with this material in an exciting way. … There was a lot there that was still kind of censored. Not [just] censored by a ratings board, and it has been, but also by economics, that no one is going to make these movies and distribute them in certain places. I wanted to engage in that without holding back, and find a way in. It was a gradual process to find what the way in would be. Along the way I was introduced to Travis and Travis’ work, and very quickly realized that the project would be served by having an equal collaborator, someone who had more experience than me in this sort of material. In some ways, he was my guide.”

Having a blunt conversation about gay sex isn’t something Oscar-nominated actors known for doing, but Franco embraces the subject matter openly. This is even more apparent in the exclusive clip from Interior. Leather Bar. EW included in their interview where Franco, playing a version of himself, expresses his feelings on straight societal norms and their acceptance. ““Every f—king love story is a dude that wants to be with a girl, and the only way they’re going to end up happy is if they walk off into the sunset together,” he says. “I’m f—king sick of that s—t. So if there’s a way for me to just break that up in my own mind, I’m all for it. … Sex should be a storytelling tool, but we’re so f—king scared of it.”

Read the full interview and see the film clip at EW.com.

For more on James Franco's exploration of gay sex and sexual subcultures, check out the below trailer for Kink, the documentary Franco co-produced which explores the world of fetish and BDSM – also being screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Tags: MOVIES
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