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James Franco: 'I Wish I Was Gay'


In a new interview in The Daily Beast, James Franco says it's normal for people to think he's gay based on the persona that he has created.

FrancoBEAST: With the gay jokes, it seems like when an actor plays a gay character convincingly onscreen, whether it’s you in Milk or whomever, gay rumors seem to sprout up about that actor. And, of course, there were a lot of gay jokes directed at you during the Roast, as well as in This Is the End.

FRANCO: There’s two sides to what happened in the Roast. If that’s what they were going to make fun of me for, I was like, “Great! Bring on the gay jokes!” because these aren’t insults at all. I don’t even care if people think I’m gay, so it was like, “Awesome!” I mean, I wish I was…I wish I was gay.


FRANCO: I mean… we don’t have to go into it. But as far as that larger phenomenon that you’re talking about that happens to other actors, part of it is that movies are a place where people can project things and identify with characters, and it’s the same thing with actors outside of their roles—and it’s been that way since Hollywood was around. That’s why there’s a lot of conjecture. That’s been one of my things, too. My relationship with my public image over the past four or five years has just become weirder and weirder, because I look at it and it’s me, and it’s not me, so if other people want to use that for their own purposes or needs, I’m fine with it.

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  1. How noble. He's providing a public service. We are free to use his image how ever we want or need to. Calling all sexually aware teens! The aging Franco face is all yours for fantasy. The real one likes pussy.

    Posted by: Josh | Sep 9, 2013 3:47:39 PM

  2. Mr Franco is a very creative fellow- so if he wanted to be gay in the real world as opposed to the reel one- he could do it. And James- seriously dude a man who looks like you must have tons of gay men who will help you...

    Posted by: jarago | Sep 9, 2013 5:23:11 PM

  3. Just be gay already Franco instead of wishing to be one.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 9, 2013 5:52:59 PM

  4. @Rowan: Regarding the comment, "Franco group up in Palo Alto. In the suburbs," that doesn't mean what you might think. Palo Alto is adjacent to Stanford University, and has a lot of well-educated generally liberal residents (at least socially) plus some really crazy people. It once had a candidate for city council, a guy who made dental implants, who claimed to be the reincarnation of an Egyptian god.

    Residents you may have heard of include Sergey Brin (Google) Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Steve Jobs (now deceased), Elon Musk (Tesla, etc.), Larry Page (Google), Jerry Yang and David Filo (co-founders of Yahoo), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). It is not your typical suburb.

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 9, 2013 5:54:00 PM

  5. "I wish I was gay" kinda irks me because it displays his straight privilege front and center. I mean imagine if he said:

    "I wish I was oppressed and a 2nd class citizen. I wish I had to deal with the enormous stress and consequences of coming out to friends and family. I wish I was under daily threat of getting beaten up on the street just for existing. I wish I couldn't travel to certain countries because of criminalized homosexuality. Etc, etc."

    I'm sure he's aware that gay life isn't 100% awesome but the fact that he's lived his entire life as a straight white male(the epitome of privelege) colors his perspective and I'm afraid he might have a romanticized notion of what being gay is like.

    Posted by: Unicorn | Sep 9, 2013 7:53:54 PM

  6. @Unicorn

    well fvcking said!

    Posted by: Applause | Sep 9, 2013 8:04:17 PM

  7. Riding off his own coattails makes PERFECT sense, LAIST, for were he not famous I dare say his collection of short stories would have been reviewed at all.

    AS for this post, I will just leave this snippet from his book here:

    "All the cops stood around me in their tight blue uniforms and the sky was golden abouve them. First RFK got my name and looked at my license. Then I had to hold my hand out and touch my nose while my neighbors watched. Another police cruiser slowed until it was in front of my driveway."

    Posted by: Monque | Sep 9, 2013 8:20:56 PM

  8. OOps, the praise in my last comment was meant for AMERICANDREAMER, as BASTION clearly did not get it.


    Riding off his own coattails? That makes no sense. I am laughing at you.

    POSTED BY: BASTIAN | SEP 9, 2013 2:26:00 PM

    As an artist, I fail to see the art in all, or any, that James France does. He would never have showed at the Venice Biennale without his celebrity, nor would he have found a publisher for his short stories. His followers on HuffPo are fans, and they all ooh and ahhh in a transparently cringeworthy manner at his laborious and yet slightly off use of big words and lofty sentence constructions. Were he not famous -- the currency needed to cut lines and skip past the years of work, study, and sweat -- we'd none of be aware of what he calls his art.

    I suffer secondhand embarrassment on his behalf, because Franco has no shame of his own for work that has not been honed. In the honing lies the education.

    Posted by: Monque | Sep 9, 2013 8:28:59 PM

  9. @Unicorn: You might want to try to reconcile your "straight white male" and "the epitome of privilege" with an article you can find about the guy who was Palo Alto's mayor in 2012: http://paloalto.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/yiaway-way-elected-mayor-of-palo-alto .

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 9, 2013 8:34:06 PM

  10. I understand why James wishes he were gay. It's because he loves the free, open, daring sexuality associated with it. I bet James has tried being gay, but ultimately discovered that his penis fits much easier in vagina both socially and professionally.

    Posted by: Mick | Sep 9, 2013 8:41:35 PM

  11. I understand why James wishes he were gay. It's because he loves the free, open, daring sexuality associated with it. I bet James has tried being gay, but ultimately discovered that his penis fits much easier in vagina both socially and professionally.

    Posted by: Mick | Sep 9, 2013 8:41:35 PM

  12. Without the "maybe gay" cache there would be nothing to see. This celebrity multimillionaire plays the game well. You will never meet him, he will never know your name.

    Posted by: JD | Sep 9, 2013 9:41:24 PM

  13. "I wish I WERE gay."
    not 'I Wish I was gay."

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 9, 2013 10:02:24 PM

  14. Thank you, Hagatha. I bit my tongue on that one. Damn subjunctive.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 9, 2013 10:54:34 PM

  15. What you need to know about me to understand where I'm coming from is that when I was a little boy I had a passion for rubbing my father's soiled and skidmarked underpants on my face every night. It aroused me, you see. Because of stereotypical gay liberal effeminates with limp wrists my father then thought that I wanted to be a girl, and mistook the underpants-face-smearing as an attempt to don Blackface, and thus for nearly 20 years the only way my father would allow me to rim him was if i did it in blackface AND drag. And that was HORRIBLE, because I'm a masculine macho gay man who is not an effeminate liberal with a lisp and a limp wrist. And I had to pretend to be. While I ate my father's rear end. After chili night. Which was every night, because my horrible woman of a mother would only ever cook chili. I hate women because of her, too.

    So that's why I hate the culture of effeminacy, that doesn't actually exist. It exists only in my head. Understood?

    I wake up each day faced with the challenge. Is this the day I make my father's dream come true and finally get the courage to hang myself? No. Because today I choose to log on to Towleroad to tell you all how angry I am that you effeminate gays are out of the closet, and dating other gay people, and making friends, and I've never had any of that.

    If I can't come on here every day to waste time pretending that its' the fault of effeminate men that I can't come out and my dad didnt' love me the way I wanted, which would have been out of drag, then I just may do what everyone hopes I'll do and end my life. Let's face it - I won't be missed. By anyone.

    Understood? Im not openly gay. I've never had a boyfriend. I've never kissed another man. And I'm still angry that I had to dress up like a black girl to perform sex acts on my father. And if I didn't do a good job he wouldn't let me attend our bi-monthly Klan meetings.


    Posted by: Rick | Sep 10, 2013 3:39:53 AM

  16. James Franco was sexy and adorable in Milk, Howl, and Oz.

    Posted by: Ed | Sep 10, 2013 5:59:19 AM

  17. Actually Rick, I'm in my sixties and I've known a group of openly gay men for decades who have strong emotional ties to other men - both gay and straight. They're called: my friends. This isn't an emerging culture. It's been around for years. Just because you haven't found it doesn't mean it isn't there.

    Posted by: Allen | Sep 10, 2013 1:33:25 PM

  18. Intelligent, imaginative, creative, incredibly hot man! Gay, straight, or whatever!

    Posted by: billmiller | Sep 10, 2013 10:06:47 PM

  19. I see it as a person experimenting (albeit in a "don't touch it, it's hot" sort of way) bisexuality along a variety of dimensions, many of which don't involve actual sex with another man. I think it's possible that James feels strongly that everyone is capable of sexual responses to both sexes if all the crap were societal/cultural/religious crap was stripped away, and he is interested in that. It would not surprise me if his housemate and him had shared physical intimacy all the way from man-man cuddling to full-on sex, actually it isn't any of OUR business what James does in his private life. But based on what he has done in his public life, I'd say he is making references to what he believes is his homosexual "side" while still also being responsive in a heterosexual way as well. He is nothing if not entertaining and he is no fool.

    Posted by: BrokebackBob | Aug 8, 2014 3:58:19 PM

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