James Franco's portrayal of gay beat
generation poet Allen Ginsberg in Howl opens in New York and
San Francisco on Friday.
Stars of the film – Franco, Aaoron
Tveit and Jon Prescott – appeared at Wednesday's New York premiere
at the IFC Center. The men behind the film, directors Rob Epstein
and Jeffrey Friedman, were also on hand.
Howl takes a look at Ginsberg's
most famous poem, Howl, published in 1955 by City Lights, a
San Francisco-based bookstore. The poem became the subject of a
landmark obscenity trial that tested the boundaries of the First
You also get to see a bit of Ginsberg's
personal life in the movie, including his love life. Ginsberg's
lover, the poet Peter Orlovsky, is played by Tveit in the movie.
Prescott plays the straight but not narrow poet Neal Cassidy.
Mad Man star Jon Hamm plays
defense attorney Jake Ehrlich and Mary-Louise Parker pops in for a
Franco's willingness to play gay
onscreen – he played Harvey Milk's lover, Scott Smith, in Milk
– has stirred up rumors about the actor's sexuality. But
in a recent cover story with gay glossy The Advocate, Franco
denied the claim.
“Everyone thinks I'm a stoner, and
some people think I'm gay because I've played gay roles,” the
32-year-old openly straight actor said. “That's what people think,
but it's not true. I don't smoke pot. I'm not gay.”
Howl opens nationwide in