Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

What’s James Franco up to?

If there’s one actor to expect the unexpected from, it’s Franco. First up, the sinister-funny bikini-fest that is Spring Breakers which also features Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson. In the trailer, which keeps getting yanked off YouTube as far …

Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 15:23

   

If there’s one actor to expect the unexpected from, it’s Franco.

First up, the sinister-funny bikini-fest that is Spring Breakers which also features Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson. In the trailer, which keeps getting yanked off YouTube as far as I can tell, he sports a dodgy grill and a dodgier-than-One-Direction’s set of scrawly tattoos

Meanwhile at Sundance (Spring Breakers already screened at Toronto), Franco gave a frank interview to Entertainment Weekly in which he discusses his new film Interior. Leather Bar in which he touches on gay sex, BDSM, his new documentary Kink.

Here, the CEO of Kink.com, the subject of the documentary, talks about why his fetish website matters.

Interior. Leather Bar looks certainly to be the artier of the two films, a supposed re-imagining of 40 minutes of footage cut from the 1980 triller Cruising which starred Al Pacino and became a punching bag for the misrepresentation of gay men in cinema. Cruising was “the last straw” that featured in Vito Russo’s landmark book that offered a queer analysis of film, The Celluloid Closet, and even its DVD release in 2007 caused controversy. There’s a good piece of background about that here.

Franco continues on a variant of the theme with an upcoming turn in Lovelace, a film about Linda Lovelace and pitched as Amanda Seyfried’s breakout role. Franco plays Hugh Hefner. Interestingly, the directors on Lovelace – Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman – actually directed the doc on the book, The Celluloid Closet. See? Everything’s connected! Epstein and Friedman also made the Franco-led Howl and the documentary The Times Of Harvey Milk, a film which Milk would go on to take its inspiration from, in which Franco of course featured.

[FYI: I'm pointedly not mentioning the Oz movie when I'm talking about what Franco is up to because it looks awful].

Franco will also play himself in the upcoming This Is The End, a film that pitches itself as “While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.” Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg direct that, with a fun cast; Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, and um, Rihanna. Here’s Rogen and Franco goofing and a preview trailer:
YouTube Preview Image

Ok, so we got the weird teen thriller thing, the art house flick, the porn doc, the biopic, the meta-comedy, what else? Well, he’s also currently working on Paul Haggis’ The Third Person which also stars Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody (where has he been?), Olivia Wilde, Casey Affleck and Kim Basinger. The film is about three interlocking love stories set in Paris, Rome and New York. Haggis likes him some interlocking stories, what with having written and directed Crash. He aslo wrote the screenplay for Casino Royale, and – game fans – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. 

So that, my friends, is what James Franco is up to.

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