James Franco doesn't care if people think he's gay: ‘I mean I wish I was'

Greg Gilman
Director and actor Franco poses during a red carpet for his movie "Child of God" during the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice
Director and actor James Franco poses during a red carpet for his movie "Child of God" during the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice August 31, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

(Note: Strong language in paragraph 4)

By Greg Gilman

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - James Franco has endured never-ending speculation over his sexuality for years, and in an interview published on Monday he finally admitted it - he wishes the gay rumors were true.

"I mean, I wish I was gay," Franco told the Daily Beast.

Franco made the comment while discussing his Comedy Central Roast which premiered last Monday to solid ratings. The telecast topped Roseanne Barr's last year (but not Charlie Sheen's record-setting Roast in 2011). While Franco appeared to take the jabs in good humor, he noted a few — from Jeff Ross, in particular — were so far below the line of common decency, that they weren't even funny.

"I'm not necessarily up on the comedy world, so it's interesting to see what's acceptable as far as gay jokes and Indian jokes. They had to cut about 40-60 minutes of it," Franco said. "But Jeff Ross was saying some crazy shit. They weren't even funny, these jokes, they just gave me nightmares. He was referencing the Ohio kidnapper dude, abortion, it was just like ... 'oh god.'"

Franco's ambiguous sexuality took a few knocks at the Roast, and was even poked fun of in the hit comedy, "This Is the End," which returned to theaters last weekend for another run at the box office.

"There's two sides to what happened in the roast. If that's what they were going to make fun of me for, I was like, ‘Great! Bring on the gay jokes!' because these aren't insults at all," Franco said. "I don't even care if people think I'm gay, so it was like, "Awesome!" I mean, I wish I was ... I wish I was gay."

When asked for further explanation, Franco avoided the question by saying they "don't need to go into it," but addressed the "larger phenomenon" of actors being rumored to be gay after convincingly playing a gay character on the screen.

"Part of it is that movies are a place where people can project things and identify with characters, and it's the same thing with actors outside of their roles — and it's been that way since Hollywood was around. That's why there's a lot of conjecture," Franco continued. "That's been one of my things, too. My relationship with my public image over the past four or five years has just become weirder and weirder, because I look at it and it's me, and it's not me, so if other people want to use that for their own purposes or needs, I'm fine with it."