James Franco explores sex in Sundance films
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — There's a lot of leather and sex in James Franco's life right now.
The 34-year-old actor-director is part of three movies at the Sundance Film Festival that deal with sex, pornography, and bondage and discipline.
"I guess I'm drawn to it," he said in an interview at the annual independent-film showcase.
Franco co-directed, produced and starred in "Interior. Leather Bar.," a reimagining of the segments cut from William Friedkin's 1980 film "Cruising," so it could earn an R rating. He produced "kink," a documentary about Kink.com, the leading producer of bondage-and-discipline pornography. And he plays Hugh Hefner in "Lovelace," set to premiere Tuesday at Sundance, which tells the story of "Deep Throat" star Linda Lovelace.
It's just a coincidence that all three films are playing at Sundance, he said.
"I wanted to explore real sex on film but in a way that was not pornographic, (but) was really about the behavior: the act as something that would reveal character or story," Franco said of the inspiration for "Interior. Leather Bar."
He didn't know much about BDSM before he discovered the Kink.com facilities while working on another project, but he was instantly fascinated.
"It's a kind of performance that's very specialized," Franco said. "At Kink, what the viewers expect is for (the performers) to really be experiencing the kind of pain that's being inflicted on them. And they don't — both the people that run Kink and the viewers — don't want any faking, so that's a new kind of performance. That's like performance art."
Franco said he experienced a "sliver of that" on the film "127 Hours," for which he earned an Oscar nomination. Playing stranded climber Aron Ralston, Franco would physically bash himself against the rocks during some takes, resulting in real bruising and exhaustion.
"So I'm not acting that," he said. "I'm not faking my exhaustion, so I can kind of relate in that way, except that's the kind of performance that they're doing every time. So to me it's fascinating from a performance perspective and filmmaking perspective.
"Things can become so standardized in any area of human behavior, human creation, whatever, that if I find a pocket of something that's unusual, that's against the grain, something that I just don't see every day, it'll get my attention," he continued.
"This seemed to me like the perfect kind of little microcosm to study, to both study the specifics and the vicissitudes of (Kink.com), but also to speak about bigger themes of the way that we all kind of interact with each other and power dynamics between any people, whether they're using bondage material or not."
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APSandy .
Kim Kardashian says her pregnancy lips are out of control, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
Check out Hollywood's hottest bikini bods on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
Robert Pattinson has moved out of the house he shared with Kristen Stewart, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
Better with age
See which stars just get better with age.Watch Video »
Check out some of Rihanna's worst wardrobe choices on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
Find out who went after Kendall Jenner on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Magic LoveThe stars of "Now You See Me" chat learning magic tricks and experiencing the real deal.Watch Video »
- Workout ObsessedGwyneth Paltrow works out for two hours a day, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Twitter AttackFind out who went after Kendall Jenner on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- 'Fast' TalkWatch as the cast of "Fast & furious 6" talk about getting injuries while filming, getting jacked and a whole lot more.Watch Video »
- Feeling SwollenKim Kardashian says her pregnancy lips are out of control, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
- Party AnimalsCheck out some of Hollywood's biggest party animals.Watch Video »
- Carrie's ChangesSee how this country cutie has changed her looks over the years.Watch Video »
- Moving OutRobert Pattinson has moved out of the house he shared with Kristen Stewart, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders.Watch Video »
- Who Am I?Check out how Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and more stars of "Fast & Furious 6" looked when they were in high school.Watch Video »
- LovebirdsFind out what Jessica Alba and Cash Warren tweeted to each other on their fifth wedding anniversary on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Worst LooksCheck out some of Rihanna's worst wardrobe choices on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- What's Sexy?Heidi Klum hangs with two comedy legends and shares what she finds most sexy in a man on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Sexy SecretsVictoria's Secret model Adriana Lima talks about the What's Sexy list, her model friends and more with Wonderwall.Watch Video »
- American TravelsGet the Prince's travel details on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
- Birthday GirlTori Spelling turns 40, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Fashion OffendersFlorence Welch, Zoe Saldana, and Ali Larter all get an F on this week's Fashion OffendersWatch Video »
- Bikini BurnsFrom Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba, see the worst celeb sunburns.Watch Video »
- Double TroubleFrom the Olsens to the Mowrys, see some of Hollywood's most famous twins.Watch Video »
- Roasted?Lindsay Lohan refuses to be roasted, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Beach WorkoutsFrom Julianne Hough to Alessandra Ambrosio, see celebs who get their fitness on in the sand.Watch Video »
- Miley's MusicMiley Cyrus mixes music and fashion while ignoring her relationship status, on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
From Videos of Wonderwall
From MSN Entertainment
From Crowd Ignite