The last time James Franco was in Miami on a cultural mission, it was to show his own art at OHWOW's Art Basel satellite fair. That might be where Franco hooked up with fellow OHWOW exhibitor Harmony Korine, who later directed a cornrowed, gold-toothed Franco in this year's Spring Breakers.
But Franco's upcoming visit to the Magic City will have nothing to do with barely legal babes in bikinis. Franco will be honored with the HBO Latin America Ally Award "for his career accomplishments and his unwavering support of the LGBT community," according to a statement from the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Is this about Franco's glowing review of The Place Beyond the Pines, in which he expressed an admiration for Ryan Gosling that might have crossed the line into a full-on mancrush? Well, it probably didn't hurt. But according to MGLFF executive director Franc Castro, the real reason Franco deserves the award is that "his multifaceted talents, coupled with his contributions to LGBT film both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, have helped shine the spotlight on LGBT cinema and a filmmaker's right to free expression."
In a statement, MGLFF notes films such as Milk, in which Franco played gay-rights activist Scott Smith, who was Harvey Milk's partner. Franco's upcoming film, Interior. Leather Bar., is a reimagination of the 40 minutes of footage rumored to be missing from Cruising, a 1980 gay S&M film starring Al Pacino.
So yeah, for a straight guy, Franco is pretty gay. And that's a good thing.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.