Was James Franco bullied as a teen for appearing gay?
Hollywood's favorite boy intellectual has been the target of seemingly constant questions about his sexuality, but in an interview with MTV News this week, the star said the swirling speculation is nothing new.
Franco is once again in the hot seat due to the premiere of the Sundance entry "Interior. Leather Bar.," a film that is heavy on gay sex scenes. The picture is a "re-imagining" of an explicit scene rumored to have been cut from the 1980 film "Cruising," Queerty reports.
MTV's Josh Horowitz asked Franco if he was "caught off guard" by audiences' "preoccupation with your sexuality."
Franco replied that, in fact, he'd felt the sting of mean-spirited rumors as early as high school.
“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,” Franco said. “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.”
However, "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" star said that at the end of the day, it could've been worse.
"It wasn’t something that frightened me, like if people think that, it’s fine. I really don’t care," he said.
"Interior. Leather Bar.," as well as Franco's documentary about the world's largest producer of BDSM pornography, probably mean that those gay rumors won't be dying down anytime soon. (And if the press barrage following Jodie Foster's Golden Globes speech is any indication, neither will Americans' obsession with a celebrity's sexual identity.)
However, the one rumor that Franco has consistently said he cannot stand is the 2008 New York Post story that connected him to a "gay rapist" scandal.
"Gawker picked that up and did this 'Gay Rapist' story that was so f**king offensive because I have friends who have been raped," he told Playboy in 2011.