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James Franco opens up about his ‘gay obsession’

The actor, writer and director explains that he likes to use the rumours around his sexuality as a ‘smokescreen’

James Franco is a man of many talents, and one who's always kept his sexuality ambigious – until now. 

The actor, director, poet, teacher and writer (I've probably left off a couple here, but you get the gist) just addressed the persistent rumours which swirl around his sexuality. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Franco explained why he likes to let people wonder whether he's gay, straight or somewhere in between. 

"One of the nice things about all that speculation, Franco said, "is that it's a smokescreen". By allowing the rumours to persist around his sexuality, they act as a "shield", meaning that he's freer to live his personal life the way he wants it. 

Franco's long been interested by how our society views sexuality and homosexuality in particular, something he explained in the Rolling Stone interview. "When I was studying at NYU, I took classes in critical studies, and one of my favourites was on queer cinema. We’re told the straight, heteronormative stories ad nauseam by now, in our movies, our shows, our commercials – everywhere. I think it’s healthy to make work that disrupts and questions that, and shows alternative narratives. That’s what an artist should do."

Of course, it's strange that we're still speculating on people's sexualities in 2016 – a fact Franco has satirised himself expertly. In a feature for FourTwoNine Magazine, Franco published a dialogue between "the straight James Franco" and the "gay James Franco", in which he explained "I’m gay in my art and straight in my life. Although, I’m also gay in my life up to the point of intercourse, and then you could say I’m straight. So I guess it depends on how you define gay. If it means whom you have sex with, I guess I’m straight." The feature also included a self-pemmed poem called 'Gay New York', which included the gem of a line "Weird how one little blowjob/Will make you a fag nowadays."