James Franco virtually bared all for Hillary Clinton. So the Oscar-nominated actor turned filmmaker, whose series of ads branded HRC the most interesting girl in the world, hasnt been taking the election result very well.
I mean, Ive been reacting really badly! he calls. Ive spiraled into a depression and Ive been questioning everything that I am, and how Ive been doing things. Its been a rough few months.
The arrival of I Am Michael a commendable and important filmin theaters and on-demand should help alleviate some of the pain. Directed by Justin Kelly and executive produced by Gus Van Sant, both of whom are lesbian, the movie dramatizes the true story of Michael Glatze( Franco ), an outspoken gay activist and co-founder( with his boyfriend, played by Zachary Quinto) of Young Gay America , an influential magazine for LGBT youth. After suffering a health frighten, Glatze turned to Christianity, renounced his homosexuality, and became an ex-gay spokesman of sorts, penning several disgustingly homophobic op-eds for the right-wing website WorldNetDaily about how he was repulsed by homosexuality and considered it sinful. In 2013, Glatze wedded a woman.
Kellys film received positive reviews following its debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and the real-life Glatze not only confessed to determining the cinema healing, but was also inspired to issue a seemingly heartfelt apology for his anti-gay rhetoric.
I remember before the cinema came out, there was a little concern about how we might be giving this guywho was at one point very anti-gaya voice, and a non-judgmental approach wouldnt be fair, tells Kelly. Its something I struggled a lot with early on, because he did say some fairly nasty things. But it was really from a lot of homosexual filmmaker-friends, Gus[ Van Sant] included, who helped me with this.
I Am Michael couldnt be coming at a more important day, too, given that Vice President Mike Pence, a onetime advocate of lesbian conversion therapy with an alarming track record of homophobia, has the ear of President Trump.
Maybe Mike Pence will watch it and learn something, offers Kelly.
The Daily Beast spoke to James Franco, who delivers a heartfelt, understated turn as Glatze, about the film and much more.
One of the strong points of the cinema is how even-handed the approach is. Theres a temptation here to be more harsh and judgmental toward Michael Glatze, but instead the film treats its subject instead gracefully, leaving much open to interpretation .
That was truly Justins take on it, and I thought it was great because it genuinely allows one of the subjects were examiningthat subject being identityand how ones identity is made. Who decides? Do we choose or not? Were so used to movies having an opposite coming-out tale, a coming out of the closet story, and to have it come in the reverse direction is, I guess, really strange for people. People Ive spoken with about the movie tend to believe[ Michael] less or think hes lying to himself, as opposed to other tales of people going from straight to gay, so to leave much of the judgment out of the film actually challenges the audience to wrestle with it on their own.
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