Film | Harvey Milk | James Franco | News | San Francisco | Sean Penn

Sean Penn and James Franco as Lovers in Milk


Flickr user Troublepup shot these photos of Penn as Milk and James Franco as his lover Scott Smith while they were shooting a scene in the Castro. Via Observd, where you can find more. Loving the 70's vibe, man.


Via SFist comes this shot of Sean Penn during last night's filming of a rally scene in Milk just outside the Castro Theatre. It's one of several march scenes to be shot.


Here, Penn holds a megaphone and shouts instructions to the crowd. You can see an even larger version of it at SFist. The Castro marquee hasn't looked like that in a while!

Blogger Jeff Walsh writes about his experience working as an extra in this crowd scene: "So, in the first scene, the crowd is milling around Castro and Market, after an anti-gay ruling in Anita Bryant’s campaign had passed successfully. As we are angry but aimless, Sean Penn (looking pretty damn convincing as Milk, btw) jumps up onto a platform with a bullhorn, says a few words, and then jumps into the crowd, channeling our frustration into a march to City Hall (or, in movie terms, half a block down the street)...."


Castro Shopper has a great wrap-up of storefronts on Castro Street which have been altered for Milk.

GayCities recently posted this shot of Penn and Emile Hirsch, who plays activist Cleve Jones in the film:


Not too long ago Penn was directing Hirsch in Into the Wild. More at GayCities, including some shots of Gus van Sant doing the filming.

Finally, a couple shots of Sean Penn as a bearded Harvey Milk.


One on the street shot, and another campaign poster. (via /film)


Last Friday, Assemblyman Mark Leno and Equality California announced that they were introducing a measure into the legislature that would have May 22, Harvey Milk's birthday, recognized as a non-fiscal state holiday.

Said Leno: "Harvey Milk was a true American hero. He gave hope to a generation of gay and lesbian individuals whose basic humanity and freedom had been denied and dishonored. His history is our history, and a day in his honor will preserve his legacy for generations to come. 'Harvey Milk Day' will provide a forum to raise public awareness of Milk's work to extend basic human rights to all people and demonstrate that each one of us possesses the ability to create extraordinary change in our communities, our country and the world."

'Milk' shoot does the Castro good [hollywood reporter]

Milk: The Transformation of Castro Street [tr]
Extras Needed for Milk March in San Francisco [tr]
First Look at Josh Brolin as SF Supervisor Dan White in Milk [tr]
Grabeel, Luna, Smith Join Milk Cast as Production Begins [tr]
EXCLUSIVE: Victor Garber, Denis O'Hare, Stephen Spinella Join Milk [tr]
Singer's Harvey Milk Film in Jeopardy as Van Sant's Gains Steam [tr]

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  1. Well, the beard poster is kindy scary. Nothing like topless skinny white males that says 70's!

    Posted by: Mary, Really Late Dowager Queen of the British Empire, Ireland, Empress of India, etc..... | Feb 5, 2008 9:22:00 AM

  2. Sean Penn has long been one of our greatest actors and Harvey Milk, faults and all, is a deserved icon and hero in gay political history. I look forward to this - as I usually do when it comes to Oliver Stone films.

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Feb 5, 2008 9:44:59 AM

  3. Oliver Stone has nothing to do with this film... thank Gawd! Anyone who saw Alexander knows that drugs have finally fried his brain.

    It's being directed by Gus Van Sant.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 5, 2008 9:50:54 AM


    Posted by: CLIFF | Feb 5, 2008 9:58:22 AM

  5. This film looks promising, especially with those credits. But one thing worries me, Gus Van Sant has rarely made a successful mainstream movie, apart from "Good Will Hunting".Sure, his latest movies are excellent but they belong to an area where Gus was always in his best shape, the independent circuit. Still, it`s great to see him go back to his roots, if you consider "Milk" a part of the new queer cinema.

    Posted by: Alexis | Feb 5, 2008 10:01:27 AM

  6. I actually met him last night!

    Posted by: Miz BoheMia | Feb 5, 2008 11:33:41 AM

  7. Since I only live 3 blocks away I went to check it out. It was cool to see Mark Leno,Gilbert Baker and activist Tommi Avacolli Mecca in the crowd and Sean Penn was only 5 feet away and looking good. I hope the movie does well.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Feb 5, 2008 11:58:00 AM

  8. As an extra this was an awsome experience. Was lucky enough to be at the front of most scenes and get a great look at what was going on (can anyone say "back to one")?! Many takes, but lots of fun! Also great to see the Harvey Milk doc at where else but the Castro theatre pre-filming! So glad I could be part of the re-making of a very important part of our history!

    ps..have to say all the movie staff were awsome and made everyone feel very welcome!

    Posted by: Greg | Feb 5, 2008 1:41:31 PM

  9. My boyfriend and I were also in the crowd last night and we were struck by how far we've actually come as a society that we are now recreating famous gay marches for entertainment purposes. It felt a little surreal to be shouting "Gay rights now!" and then stepping back a few feet to shout it all over again for another take. I can't imagine that the original protesters (some of whom were actually in the crowd last night.) would have ever thought that some day people would be recreating that moment for a movie. It must have seemed like an impossible dream if they did. But here we are.

    Posted by: dug | Feb 5, 2008 3:09:36 PM

  10. I remember Harvey and what a great influence he was for all of us. I remember, overwhelming sadness at learning of his murder. and, pride, that his legacy is real. for all of us. No matter who we love.

    I am truly looking forward to the release of this movie.

    Posted by: Jeanne | Feb 5, 2008 5:23:07 PM

  11. Princess Leia was there too!

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 5, 2008 5:31:16 PM

  12. I'm pleasantly turned on by these pictures of Penn and Franco. Can't wait to see the film!

    Posted by: Marie | Feb 5, 2008 5:37:03 PM

  13. Hey Big Mike!

    Now we know you are gay people who say things like that are always in the closet. Enjoy your pole smoking monkey!! LOL

    Posted by: Drap | Feb 6, 2008 10:59:34 AM

  14. Hey Big Mike!

    Now we know you are gay people who say things like that are always in the closet. Enjoy your pole smoking monkey!! LOL

    Posted by: Drap | Feb 6, 2008 11:00:11 AM

  15. The image of Harvey( Penn) with the Bullhorn brought back memories for me of that eventful night. Because it was an impromptu march... there were not as many signs as shown in the current MILK movie image. All the way from the Castro to City Hall and downtown to Union Square... Harvey using the bullhorn yelled "OUT OF THE BARS AND INTO THE STREETS". I would like to recommend visiting and see how I remembered that moment, and took a photo of Harvey at Union Sqare... that is now part of the history
    of "Orange Tuesday" June 7, 1977 and also recommend visiting the whole site at Uncle Don's to see a treasure trove of images and stories by those lucky to be there when
    the Castro became the future gay Mecca.

    Posted by: jerry pritikin | Feb 6, 2008 3:58:11 PM

  16. oh how brave 4 2 more str8t actors to play gay. yawn.

    Posted by: samguy | Feb 7, 2008 2:23:37 PM

  17. "oh how brave 4 2 more str8t actors to play gay. yawn."

    I guess you would prefer actors to go around saying it's sick to play a gay character.

    Posted by: just me | Feb 9, 2008 5:11:08 PM

  18. Hey Drap, first of all, you shouldn't talk with your mouth full. Secondly, I can see that all of those years you spent in English class really paid off for you. LMAO!!!!!!

    Just Me, It is sick to see ANY actor playing a flaming homo. I should not have to explain such a thing to my seven year old when he sees it pasted all over every media source available. I wish you had children that YOU HOPED AND PRAYED would turn out queer so I could expose them to my straightness at every opertunity.

    Posted by: Big Mike | Feb 10, 2008 9:47:20 AM

  19. to Big Mike, what are you saying ? your son is a big fan of gay cinema ? no one will see this except those who go out if their way to a serious Movie House, or rent it later. This will not be seen by random and surely uniterested youngins'

    Posted by: Richie | Feb 10, 2008 3:19:30 PM

  20. Um...Big Mike - your kid's got bigger problems than queer cinema - he's got you for a father and that's a handicap he'll spend a lifetime overcoming.

    'Tis a shame no one thought to neuter you when you were young.

    Posted by: JCW | Feb 11, 2008 1:28:31 PM

  21. My girlfriend and I were extras too! And the crowd was full of people who were there back in the day, who all kept marveling at how much he looks like Harvey Milk. Awesome.

    Posted by: oakling | Feb 11, 2008 5:26:56 PM

  22. JCW, from your warm words, I can see that your father doesn't love you anymore. Maybe you should quit thinking about yourself long enough to try and understand WHY he hates you.

    Posted by: Big Mike | Feb 11, 2008 10:19:13 PM

  23. Victor Garber, a Canadian I might add, is definitely gay. He cruised me at a restaurant in Toronto a few years ago and I met a guy who worked on the Titanic movie who said Garber was always after him. Garber is the oldest hottest gay man that I would ever do!

    Posted by: Noel | Feb 12, 2008 12:31:59 AM

  24. My SO and I worked as extras on the set of Milk on the 4th and the 8th. It was a very moving experience for both of us. I had sort of an opposite reaction from what Greg had WRT our progress over the past 30 years. I was reading the signs the "rioters" were holding and realizing we could be holding the same signs now--so little has changed. Also we're dealing with the same exact issues now--we get a few measly laws in our favor and the RRRW backlash creates dozens against us--much as occurred three decades ago.

    We still have such a long road ahead of us, but I'm not about to give up the battle. I'm only going to fight harder.

    Posted by: Buffy | Feb 12, 2008 12:52:54 AM

  25. JUST ME,

    I should think explaining the disease of bigotry to your child would be more difficult than explaining something natural like love and human sexuality. But I guess things are different for RRRW hatemongers like you, eh?

    Posted by: Buffy | Feb 12, 2008 12:59:06 AM

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