James Franco is an attractive, thoughtful and talented 37 year-old. Who can resist his charms? Girls and boys alike find the polymath irresistible, which naturally leads to a lot of speculation, and we mean a lot.
Is James Franco gay? Is he fake gay? Is he using the gay thing to advance his career? Do naked selfies mean he’s gay? If gays think he’s hot, does that make him gay? Am I gay because I’m talking about this?
But these questions miss the point for anyone wondering how Dave’s older brother really views homosexuality: James Franco is cool with a lot of stuff just because James Franco is cool with his own penis.
1. Sausage Party
This ani feature in production is an obvious example. You have to be comfortable with your own dick to be in a movie about talking sausages, because yes they really are talking penises, among them Seth Rogen, Michael Cera and hot young sausage Anders Holm. Ronald Reagan would not have been in a movie called Sausage Party.
2. Naked Basketball
In 2006, Franco went back to school to get his undergraduate degree at UCLA, and then some. He continued with an MFA in writing at Columbia and another in filmmaking at NYU, where he directed a 16mm short called The Feast of St. Stephen, based on a poem by Anthony Hecht, featuring a bunch of naked undergrads playing basketball before that turns into a sexualized beating in Central Park. There’s plenty of full-frontal college penis in the four-minute film, as well as some fine college ass, because that’s what you see when 18 year-olds are playing naked basketball. And Franco is cool with that.
3. Zac Efron Masturbating
James Franco is comfortable enough with his own D to talk with another sexy, younger leading man, Zac Efron, about his masturbation habits. On the faux chat show Skylark Tonight, Franco is fascinated, not repulsed, by Efron’s remarkable self-pleasuring. As you will be.
4. Interior. Leather Bar.
Franco collaborated with director Travis Mathews on an hour-long film called Interior. Leather Bar, which used the re-creation of 40 minutes of deleted scenes from Al Pacino’s 1980 starrer Cruising to talk about censorship, homophobia and the evolution of depictions of gay culture from then to now. If you’ve seen the film, you know the plot is pure gay-sploitation, but those cruising scenes below streets in the pseudo-Mineshaft are pretty much on the nose. There’s dick everywhere, which is fine because that’s what you’ll find if you’re ever underground in a leather bar at 3 in the morning in the Meatpacking District.
5. The Seth Rogen Paintings
Artist Franco appropriated some guy’s drawings of an imagined, and naked, and in one case maybe auto-fellating, Seth Rogen, because, he said, he and Rogen are buddies and if anyone should depict his buddy naked, it’s Franco. If you’re not cool with your own dick, you’re not going to paint Seth Rogen’s.
6. Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers
In Harmony Korine’s kaleidoscopic love letter to Spring Break and the Sunshine State, Franco’s corn-rowed Alien deep-throats an assault rifle and has a silencer-equipped Beretta thrust in his mouth by drug-heisting girlfriends Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson. This act pretty much redefines “cocksure.”
7. Naked and Afraid
Last year, just before their Interview/Kim Jong Un debacle, Franco and Seth Rogen appeared together on the Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid, which of course is an oxymoron with a camera crew following you through the woods because you’re probably not really afraid of anything. But that’s not why you called. Guys with hang-ups about their dicks don’t hang out naked in the forest with their buddy for a cable TV show.
8. Instagram Selfies
Some people have labeled Franco a narcissist, and therefore probably gay, for his Instagram selfie habit, but in 2013 the social media maven made a compelling case in The New York Times for why posting pics of yourself is not only required celebrity currency, but desirable: “The selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you’re feeling, where you are, what you’re doing. And, as our social lives become more electronic, we become more adept at interpreting social media. A texting conversation might fall short of communicating how you are feeling, but a selfie might make everything clear in an instant.” Like this one with Franco’s hand on his junk. “Selfies,” he continues, “are tools of communication more than marks of vanity (but yes, they can be a little vain).” Isn’t his self-awareness endearing?
9. Between Two Ferns
In 2013, an episode of Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns was the vehicle for a pro-marriage equality music video by Andy Samburg’s Lonely Island, wherein Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers sing they’ll be both “Crushin’ pussy, marry a man,” with Franco, Ed Norton, Jorma Taccone and friends illustrating the nuptials, without irony.
There’s also this exchange with Galifianakis and Franco on the Ferns set:
Galifianakis: Your face resembles James Dean.
Franco: Oh, thanks.
Galifianakis: Is it safe to say your sausage reveals Jimmie Dean’s?
Franco: Um, long and smooth?
10. The Broken Tower
For Franco’s MFA thesis film, The Broken Tower, he tackled the story of died-too-young gay poet Hart Crane, who, after a sailor beat him up following his advances, threw himself overboard from a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, age 32. The 90-minute drama features Franco as Hart giving a student a blow job in a jalopy, and while the director says the phallus was fake, the actor sure makes it look real. Either way, sucking another man’s D in public says a lot about how cool you are with your own.
But what may be more revealing than a dick in Franco’s mouth is how his fellow students feel about it. In 2011, when the over-aged post-graduate was making that thesis film, a poll of incoming college students indicated 71.3 percent agreed same-sex couples should have the right to marry, and the numbers have only gone up. So while it looks like forever-student Franco is pathbreaking in his advocacy and provocations, it may be that he’s just co-opting the kids, and if we really want to know about how he feels about homosexuality, we should follow them, on Instagram, where it looks like everybody is cool with the the big D.