April 24, 2014

Zooey Deschanel on James Franco, playing a bisexual

By Greg Hernandez

HollywoodNews.com: One of my absolute favorite movies from 2009 was ’500 Days of Summer’ and it was through this film that I really became enchanted with Zooey Deschanel. I could totally understand how she turned Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s world upside down in that flick!

So, as usual, Brandon Voss – who talks to all my favorite stars for the interviews he does for ‘The Advocate’ – got to gab with Zooey recently. Here are some excerpts from their conversation:

In ‘My Idiot Brother,’ which you premiered at Sundance this year, you play a bisexual character named Natalie. What’s her deal?
Natalie has a girlfriend played by Rashida Jones. Rashida’s character is very sweet and loyal, but my character is unfaithful with other guys and girls. She takes out her angst in her sexual exploits and suffers because of it.

How did Natalie’s bisexuality inform your performance?
Rashida actually played her character super-boyish with cute little button-down shirts, so I wanted to have a little bit of a contrast to that. I didn’t think of Natalie as someone who necessarily thought about gender either way. I thought of her as someone who’s just really open.

Have you experienced a similar openness of sexuality?
Not really. I was a really late-bloomer. I didn’t even have a boyfriend until I was about 19 because I was so shy.

Did you have to get intimate with Rashida?
There’s some kissing but no sex scenes or anything.

Is this the first non-straight role you’ve played?
Yep. It’s weird, right? I guess I never really had the opportunity. No one’s given me the chance before.

You also star in Your Highness as the love interest for James Franco. Are you aware that gay men very much enjoy him?
Um, everyone very much enjoys him. Listen, he’s super-handsome, super-creative, crazy-smart, and a really great actor, so he’s kind of got a lot going for him. He basically has anyone with a pulse aware of his presence at all times. If you’re alive, you know he’s in the room. He’s just a magnet.

Franco is leading a new breed of sensitive young straight actors who really cater to their gay audience without fear or apology.
Well, sensitivity is so much hotter. It’s like Joe Gordon-Levitt, who I’ve known forever. We did a movie called ‘Manic’ together back in 2000, and I remember that after he got out of college, it seemed like every role he took was a gay role. I feel like he made a concerted effort to play gay characters, and I thought that was super-cool.

To read more from this article go to Greg In Hollywood.

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About Greg Hernandez

Greg Hernandez has written about the entertainment world for more than a decade. He is a veteran of covering many Academy Awards shows (plus Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes) as well as film festivals, movie premieres and philanthropic events. Hernandez founded the popular Out In Hollywood blog while a writer and columnist for the "Los Angeles Daily News." He’s also a former staff writer at the "Los Angeles Times" and "The Hollywood Reporter" and has been a contributing writer to "The Advocate." Greg is the founder and editor of Greginhollywood.com

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