James Franco is not afraid to explore all aspects of sexuality in his latest string of projects, including two rather NSFW films.
And while he's a Hollywood darling now, given complete control to take on any kind of project he wants and to explore whatever he wants in them, people didn't always understand Franco.
"In high school these girls got mad at me and so they spread this rumor that I was having a gay relationship with one of my closest friends," he told MTV News about people's fascination with him and his sexual orientation. "And they even made up a little dance they would do in the girl's locker room about me being gay. I still don't know what the dance was."
Cut to today, when Franco's sexuality is still a topic of the rumor mill, not that it concerns him at all. "It wasn't like it was anything new," he explained while out promoting his latest slate of projects at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. "And in fact, it wasn't something that frightened me, like if people think that, it's fine. I really don't care."
Franco is out promoting "Kink," a documentary he produced about the world's largest producer of BDSM pornography, and the equally eye-raising "Interior. Leather Bar.," which is his take on the 1980 Al Pacino film "Cruising," about gay culture. Franco will also play Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in a biopic about '70s porn actress Linda Lovelace called "Lovelace."
While speaking about his newest entries into the world of film, he mirrored those sentiments, noting that whatever your sexuality is and however it is represented in pop culture, you shouldn't be ashamed.
"It's hard to put certain kinds of sex in film," Franco said. "Now, I could sort of understand that if it wasn't so easy to put other kinds of things in film, like violence. Obviously, there's some weird standard here that is just illogical."
"Sex and sexuality are such big parts of our lives — the ways that we define ourselves, the ways that we interact with each other," he added. "Everyone thinks about it. Everyone knows about it. Even if you insist on living an incredibly chaste life and you're chaste in your thoughts, that's a conscious and concerted effort to keep sex from your thoughts. So you're still engaging with sex even if it's in a negative capacity. ... It's a huge part of our lives. It's part of being human."