And he'd do these weird science experiments in our backyard."On how his old acting method caused friction on set: "I was taught that you have to fight for your performance.It is hard now to conceive of the opening of a major film festival without James Franco appearing in at least one film.The actor/director/producer/scriptwriter/university lecturer was – as a producer and star of The Interview – at the centre of the biggest Tinseltown story in years, one that eventually brought down the co-chairman of Sony, Amy Pascal, in February.When the trailer for The Interview, about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un was released, North Korea issued a statement that releasing the film would be a “war action”.Although Franco tells me he doesn’t question inspiration when it strikes, it’s not an answer I’m prepared to accept without a fight. His girlfriend, actress Ahna O’Reilly, laughs when I phone her later and suggest the second possibility. ” she says, adding that Franco’s interest in sexuality is less about homosexuality and more about boyhood, masculinity, and journeys of self-discovery. I am sure I was drawn to his character’s quirkiness and desire to be loved.” (Franco and Van Sant are currently working on an art project reexamination of using never-before-seen footage.)Though Franco didn’t know any openly gay people in his San Francisco Bay area high school (“It was not considered a good thing to be gay,” he says), he doesn’t remember ever having negative feelings about homosexuality.Franco is heterosexual (unless everyone who knows him well—including his girlfriend of five years—is lying or has been monumentally duped), yet he is routinely “inspired” to direct or play gay. “I guess the reason I wouldn’t is because I’d be worried that it would hurt my career. But on another level, there’s something in me that is able to play roles like that in a way that’s convincing.”I’m curious what that something is. Franco’s favorite movie is , Van Sant’s 1991 surreal update of Shakespeare’s King Henry plays, which stars River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves and is certainly about all of those things.“I’ve loved that movie since before I was an actor, when I was in high school,” he says. I loved the makeshift family, the idea that people could come together and survive. And I am sure the performances were what I was mostly drawn to, especially River’s. “My friends and I read the Beats, so we were familiar with gay characters,” he says.But to Franco, a poetry room, especially one with such a strong connection to Allen Ginsberg, a man Franco has admired for years and portrays in the upcoming film , is a serious place where people ought to be allowed to read in peace. “When I read a poem that inspires me, I don’t question it,” he says, turning in his seat to gaze toward the brick apartment building across the alleyway, where a woman’s chubby hands extend from an open window to adjust a drying T-shirt on a stained laundry line.It’s an unusually hot day in San Francisco, and only blocks away the city is celebrating gay pride by dancing on floats and trying to keep up with the overwhelming number of possibilities on Grindr.
On being inspired by his father: "My father taught me difficult math at an early age.
In 's latest cover story, the multifaceted creative talks about his endless passions, work ethic, his sexuality and being motivated by his late father.
Some of his standout collaborators like Seth Rogen and director David Gordon Green chip in too.
I was in the, like, top AP calculus class when I was a junior. I think I get a lot from my dad, because he worked in Silicon Valley, but he always had these side projects.
He would do math problems that would take years to figure out.