What to say about James Franco?

The Hollywood star hasn’t chosen the typical path of his peers. Instead, he’s taken on roles (both as actor and producer) that stray from the norm. He enjoys independent work, and it seems at times that his bigger roles are calculated to allow him the room in his career to do the things he really wants to.

Rumours abound about his sexuality. He was quoted as saying “I like to think that I’m gay in my art and straight in my life.” The flames have been fanned by the significant queer body of work he’s produced. While he might not find himself sexually involved with men, it’s easy to see him as a queer filmmaker.

He’s starred in two significant gay roles, in ‘Milk’ and ‘I Am Michael’, and recently got behind the camera as producer of ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’

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The latter raised eyebrows – it’s an attempt to reinstate the 40-or-so minutes of ‘Cruising’, the 1980 thriller starring Al Pacino, that were cut. Franco and his team filmed brand new scenes for the movie, which he described as a “homo-sex-art-film”, but also used that footage as a springboard for exploring how such a film was made, including aspects of discomfort experienced by the actors.

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Now it looks like he’s planning on embarking on another gay role – this time he’s producing ‘King Cobra’ based on the murder of adult film star Brian Kocis in 2007. The film stars Keegan Allen, Christian Slater and Molly Ringwald and, true to form, Franco shared a behind the scenes moment that had tongues wagging.

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He posted an Instagram snap of himself and Allen posing shirtless in front of workout equipment. They’re both wearing ‘Nasty Pig’ gear – Franco in sweat pants and Allen in a well-filled pair of briefs. Sweating…

It’s clear that while Franco is a serious filmmaker who enjoys exploring difficult subjects, he also enjoys fuelling the gossip mill and tantalising fans with cheeky shots like these, and so far, no one’s complaining.

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