James Franco turned 35 on April 19, but the actor saved his birthday bash for a trip to Miami, where he received the HBO Latin America Ally Award for his “unwavering support for the LGBT community” at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Sitting poolside on Tuesday, the actor tweeted a picture of his S and M-themed birthday cake — complete with a strap-on, a ball gag, a leather whip, and more — a nod to his film “Interior. Leather Bar.” a re-imagining of the deleted footage from the 1980 gay-themed film “Cruising.”
Franco, who wrote, starred and directed the film, attended a screening at the MGLFF on Sunday night.
Speaking to the South Florida Gay News, the actor said that queer cinema has had a huge influence on him:
“I have a lot of different connections to the LGBT community and I have a lot of aesthetic or artistic connections or reasons I am interested in queer cinema,” he said. “’My Own Private Idaho’ was a big influence on me in many ways. I watched it when I was in high school and since then.”
Franco, who played the boyfriend of gay activist Harvey Milk in “Milk,” added that he believes that the stigma against a straight man playing a gay character has somewhat abated.
“For a long time [playing gay characters] was seen as something that was harmful to your career,” he said. “I find that it hasn’t hurt me at all, and even if it did hurt me, it wouldn’t deter me from doing the kinds of projects that I want to do.”
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
James Franco's Naughty Birthday Cake