James Franco Kisses Sean Penn and Lives to Tell David Letterman About It

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Here’s your generation gap on full display as David Letterman asks James Franco about how weird it was to kiss Sean Penn for his role in Milk. Letterman is absolutely creeped the hell out by the idea of kissing a dude and can’t hide it:

“It had to be odd…If it’s me I’m kinda hoping maybe I do screw it up…Do you really want to be good at kissing a guy?…When you and Sean Penn are getting ready to kiss, do you talk about it? How drunk are you?”

The subtext to Letterman’s needling is all “Please confirm to me and my audience that kissing a dude was totally disgusting and that even though you did, you’re still a red-blooded American male.” Which might have been the right track for an Adam Sandler interview, but Franco, who recently directed a short student film at NYU about naked guys playing basketball, is all sorts of comfortable with his sexuality and does what any metrosexual post-straight guy does when another guy starts asking repeatedly over and over again what it’s like to kiss another guy: He offers a demonstration.

We can only imagine Letterman after the show, staring in his dressing room mirror, hand to the cheek where Franco planted his lips, thinking to himself, “Does this make me bisexual?”

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  • Joe Moag

    I know it’s a side point, but I just pulled up the link to the Franco interview on the Nude Basketball film, and MAN is he adorable! WOW!

  • nikko

    Kissing a dude is delicious, David. Disappointing to hear that from Letterman.

  • James in BCN

    Letterman proves that he’s a moron, once again. Thankfully, DiFranco answered the question correctly as a professional actor attempting to do his character justice. Letterman just tried to provoke him with his stupidity which DiFranco evades quite well. “Being good at kissing a guy..”?? Is Letterman still living in 1978 or does he have so little exposure to real actors??? Dude, go back to the sportsbar you hang out in.

  • L

    It’s called acting, Dave. It’s a technique used to tell a story in a film. What a moron!

  • Rock

    Letterman’s a homophobe.

    Try it. It’s not that bad!

  • LAhomo

    What a stupid ass Letterman is……….when are you going to bail Dave? You’ve on TV since like Carter was President.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Franco handled it perfectly. He ended the conversation by simply saying,

    “I did my best”.

    No matter what we are attempting to do in life, even if it calls for kissing a man on screen, we should always, do our best because that’s what it’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

  • Jaroslaw

    I know this analogy has been used before, but in case some have never heard it:

    Do people ask someone who is playing a serial killer, adulterer, alcoholic, child molester – what it is like to play those people? Not usually and surely not in the same “are you still a “real” man kind of way” Letterman did here.

  • Michael J

    I’ve always thought Letterman was a clueless ass, and his exchange with James Franco only confirmed it. Franco was great in his response. He answered by talking about how big a deal it is to kiss Sean Penn because he is such an acclaimed actor who Franco has admired for a long time, not because he is a man.

  • joe

    Sad – such a limited man. Nobody’s asking him to kiss anyone but the idea is repulsive? I’d find kissing him repulsive. Such a homophobe. Fight against homophobia – friends, relative, strangers.

  • Mark

    Thanks for posting this. I think it’s odd it’s not on Joe.My.God or Towleroad. Where Leno did this we were all over him -why is Dave different?

    I sent the Late Show a letter and wanted to share it here.

    Dear Late Show,

    um, first I should say I am a fan of Dave’s, or at least until today and when I say a fan I mean I’m 48 and have been watching him since his first show.

    His jokes about McCain this year and the way he rode him about blowing him off were perfect and very satisfying.

    How old is Dave? Nearly 60 I would guess and he’s spent his entire life in and about New York City working in the entertainment biz, right? And he is freaked out about gay people? Like he’s never met any? He can’t think of anything more disgusting then two men kissing? Come on, really?

    Didn’t Dave witness Leno’s embarrassment over the same issue with Ryan Phillipe last year?

    Kissing a guy is the most disgusting thing in the world? You just can’t get your poor little head around it Dave?

    You might want to wonder why the Westboro Baptist church thinks it’s OK to protest funerals with signs that say GOD HATES FAGS, apparently Dave agrees with them and would like to contribute to the cause by helping out. I think Rev. Phelps could really use Dave’s high profile program to help fight the cause – those disgusting fags kissing each other, I mean how sick can you get?

    Speaking of the movie Milk, Dan White, felt the same way about us as Dave does. We know how that played out don’t we? And why would you talk to James Franko about anything else, I mean what else can you possibly say about what is being touted as one of the great films of this year? Two guys kissing is definitely the only thing to talk about because it happens right at the start and then, well it’s impossible to think about anything else, right?

    Did Dave even see the movie?

    The next time I read the heart breaking statistics on LGBT suicides among teens I’ll remember how Dave helped them make up their mind to hang themselves in the basement while Mom is out getting groceries. Help them feel even worse about themselves, help them justifying ending a life that is little more then the butt end of a bad joke on the Letterman show.

    Maybe Dave should join the Mormon church I think they could really use his help right about now.

    He might also want to speak out about how disgusting gay people shouldn’t have the right to visit their dying lover in the hospital because, well that’s just creepy, I mean two guys – ewwww, yuck.

    They don’t deserve any rights, let them get killed and hung up on a cross in the middle of the field to die. That’s what they deserve, jeez, just the thought of it gives me the creeps, two guys kissing? Wow, that’s incomprehensible to me, and you, sexy James Franco, you actually had to kiss Sean Penn in a movie? Dude you should get an award for that. Did you ever think you were going to throw up?

    Oh yeah and no way can deviants have any kind of loving relationship, no way no how, human rights for freaks? Fuck that! They should be actively persecuted and put away somewhere so we don’t have to witness their sick love.

    Hate crimes? Well if you’re such a freak that you want to actually kiss someone of the same gender well then dude you deserve to be beaten in front of your lover of 10 years and bleed to death on the street.

    Shameful, disgusting, bigoted, homophobic, regressive, stupid and offensive.

    Next time I think about watching Letterman I think I’ll find some dude to neck with instead.

    Best regards,

  • John

    It was on Towleroad a week ago or so…

  • Leland Frances

    Hmmm. I guess the outrage of the masses creating the so-called “Stonewall 2.0” cooled faster than candle wax on a winter day.

    If it hadn’t, the New Gay Revolutionaries would be borrowing a page from gay activist history and be sneaking into Letterman’s [and O’Reilly’s and and and] studio and zapping him ON AIR as Philadelphia’s Mark Segal did at only goddamn 19 to Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, and other TV powerhouse homophobic celebs.

    What? We’re being asked to do something instead called “A Day Without A Gay”? What the fuck???

  • Liberace

    Letterman is tired. People still watch his show?

  • kelly

    Franco should have walked off the show.

  • michael

    Personally I am okay with Dave thinking that kissing a man is disgusting. Dave might be a lot of things but hot is not one of them. Most of the women I know think that kissing him would be gross so I think Dave you can be pretty safe in knowing that no
    guy is going to be trying to make out with you. Personally I cannot imagine anything more disgusting.

  • alan brickman

    David letterman is a closet homo…everybody in New York knows it…

  • Anne Siebenhoven

    I like Lettereman, but he can be a real jerk sometimes. And he was here. He just kept going at Franco, and going at him, And when this kid turned around and offered that kiss, it was like he’d socked him one. And I thought, ‘Good for you, hon!’
    Letterman was caught completely flatfooted.
    Apparently, you screw with James Franco at your own risk.
    Lesson learned Dave.

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