Damn, damn, damn, James…
Via Huffington Post
James Franco’s new art film Interior. Leather Bar., directed by him and filmmaker Travis Mathews, is all about gay sex, and Franco’s damn proud of it.
Premiering at this week’s Sundance Film Festival, the gay freak film reimagining 40 minutes of footage rumored to be taken out of William Friedkin’s 1980 drama Cruising blurs the boundaries between observer and observed, truth and fiction, delight and pain.
EW talked to Franco about Interior.Leather Bar., and for a separate story, about kink, the documentary he produced about a San Francisco-based BDSM freak flick company, also premiering at Sundance. Not much was off limits for the Oscar-nominated actor, known for his multiple degrees, his creative projects, and movies spanning the gamut between serious drama (127 Hours), stoner comedy (Pineapple Express), sex and violence filled comedy (Harmony Korine’s upcoming Spring Breakers), and big-budget fantasy (Disney’s upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful).
Hearing an actor enamored by girls and guys the world over talk frankly about sex, gay sex, and freakiness was, honestly, completely refreshing. You can almost hear boundaries splinter and crack.
So exactly how far is James going in this flick??
You’re a huge mainstream actor, you star in big budget movies, you’re considered a handsome leading man, and yet you also have this heavily artistic side that pushes you to take on controversial material. How did this hybrid identity affect Interior. Leather Bar.?
My history and my place in mainstream cinema helped us shape the approach we were going to take. That’s why I’m in the film playing myself, a version of myself. It frames the context of this movie and this material. There are documentaries about freaky flicks. I just made one, k*nk. The approach we took was not to really get into the ins and outs of freak flicks. It was really juxtaposing mainstream cinema and different kinds of representations of gay cinema.
In the Interior. Leather Bar. clip we’re premiering on EW.com, you flinch at the beginning, watching a heavy-duty sex scenario. Had you seen any freak flicks being filmed, in person, before Interior. Leather Bar. and k*nk?
I actually had seen some before. Before I did Interior. Leather Bar., I had seen some sex being shot at the k*nk.com facility in San Francisco. And when preparing for a role I did a long time ago called Sonny [in 2002], in which I played a male sex pro, I observed a guy sex pro on a date and he took me along and let me watch. I was probably 22. If I was flinching, it probably had something to do with the BDSM. There’s a guy named Master Avery, and he was spanking some other guys with a paddle. He was doing it a lot, so one of the guy’s a$$es got really bruised. So I was probably reacting to that.
Ladies, as much as some of you like to have swirly desires for Mr. Franco, will his lil’ romp with George, Jimmy, and Stan ruin the fantasy?