After taking roles in “Howl,” “Milk” and “Pineapple Express,” moviegoers have a few preconceived ideas about James Franco – and now the actor is setting the record straight.
“Everyone thinks I’m a stoner, and some people think I’m gay because I’ve played these gay roles,” James told The Advocate’s October issue. “That’s what people think, but it’s not true. I don’t smoke pot. I’m not gay.”
The actor understands why some of his colleagues might choose to keep their sexuality in the closet, but said he wouldn’t hide it if he were gay.
“I’d tell you if I was,” he told the mag. “I guess the reason I wouldn’t is because I’d be worried that it would hurt my career. I suppose that’s the reason one wouldn’t do that, right? But no, that wouldn’t be something that would deter me. I’m going to do projects that I want to do.”
In fact, James is tired of the typical big screen straight love story.
“In this history of cinema, there are so many heterosexual love stories,” he said. “It’s so hammered, so done. It’s just not that interesting to me. It’s more interesting to me to play roles and relationships that haven’t been portrayed as often.”
The only time when the actor’s team attempted to dissuade him from a taking a role was his recent foray into daytime TV as the character Franco on an ABC soap
“You want to know what my agents did try to talk me out of?” James said. “‘General Hospital.’ They didn’t think me acting in a soap opera was the greatest idea. But they know that I’ve always wanted to do a movie about the Beats, so no one tried to stop me from playing Allen Ginsberg.”
James is currently on the big screen in “Eat Pray Love,” and will play Ginsberg in “Howl” – opening in limited release on September 24. He’s also portraying Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who was forced his amputate his arm after getting trapped by a boulder, in the Danny Boyle-directed “127 Hours” – hitting theaters on November 5.