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James Franco Opens Up About His 'Uncomfortable' Sex Scene With Michael Shannon

James Franco has a much-buzzed about sex scene with actors Charlie Carver and Zachary Quinto in the upcoming film “I Am Michael,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this week. But not all the love scenes in the actor’s career have gone quite so smoothly. In a recent interview with Vulture, Franco opened up about his very different experience shooting the sex scene with Michael Shannon in 2011 film “The Broken Tower.”

It was very different. Michael Shannon is an awesome actor, one of the best actors of our generation, and a good friend of mine who prides himself on being the guy who will do anything, but he was uncomfortable in that scene. I had to take him to dinner before we shot it because he was so uncomfortable … he was like, ‘We’ve gotta talk about this.’ So I went in to New York, and as soon as we sat down, he was like, ‘Aw, now I feel stupid that I’m such a wimp. All right, I’ll do it, I’ll do it.’ Once we got to set, we set up the lights and everybody else cleared the room. It was my DP and focus-puller, and that was it. We did one take, and if you look closely at the scene, you’ll see that I am pulling his face close to me because he [refused to get close], and we’re supposed to be passionately making out. And he’s a strong dude! But in the end, it worked … half-assed love scenes are the worst. Straight or gay! So I was just doing my job on [‘I Am Michael’].

Speaking to HuffPost Live in a recent interview, Franco’s “I Am Michael” co-star Carver opened up about shooting the aforementioned scene with Franco and Quinto.

“I think a scene like that you have to have a sense of humor, you just go for it,” he said. “There are plenty of things that are more awkward to shoot than a love scene or a sex scene.”

“I Am Michael” follows the story of Michael Glatze, a gay rights activist who turned to Christianity and later renounced his homosexuality. As Variety notes, Glatze was profiled in 2011 by The New York Times.

For Franco’s full interview, head over to Vulture.