Deep Inside Hollywood: Dee Rees, Amanda Seyfried, Glenn Close, & James Franco

By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special for TRT–

Linda Lovelace gets her men

It takes a village to tell the story of ’70s porn sensation Linda “Lovelace” Boreman, and acclaimed filmmaking team Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the guys behind The Celluloid Closet and the James Franco-starring Howl, are quickly putting the finishing touches on the cast list for their upcoming biopic, Lovelace. The project already has its lead in Amanda Seyfried as the world’s first erotic superstar and her troubled rise to fame in the crossover porn hit Deep Throat. And Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Wes Bentley and Juno Temple have also signed on. But now comes a wave of men to flesh out the roster, including Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale, Chris Noth and Robert Patrick as members of the porn world, so all systems are go. Lava lamp mood lighting is set and the cameras are rolling right. More, more, more to follow.

Queer now, what next?

The multiplex is extra gay at the moment as a trio of high profile actors – Glenn Close, Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender – are busy captivating audiences in the films Albert Nobbs (where Close plays a transsexual man), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (with Mara as a tough, brilliant bisexual computer hacker) and Shame (starring Fassbender as a bisexual sex addict). Coming off these acclaimed roles, look for the legendary Close next in the ghostly drama Therese Raquin, alongside Martha Marcy May Marlene star Elizabeth Olsen. Meanwhile, Next Big Thing Fassbender will make his third film with British art-film sensation Steve Mcqueen (he also directed Shame) and co-star with Brad Pitt in Twelve Years a Slave, a period film about a man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) kidnapped in the northern United States and sold into slavery in the south. Finally, Mara, whose transformation into cult heroine Lisbeth Salander was so chameleon-like as to render the actress unrecognizable, will appear in Tree of Life director Terence Malick’s latest film, Lawless, with Ryan Gosling. In other words, don’t worry about any careers around these parts.

The Help’s Viola Davis helps Pariah’s Dee Rees

Currently in theaters and generating a lot of critical praise is Dee Rees’s debut feature, Pariah. Featuring rising star Adepero Oduye, it’s the moving story of a teenage lesbian struggling to bridge her family life with the one she secretly shares with a group of new lesbian friends. This kind of worthwhile debut often generates Hollywood interest and Rees’s next project will probably raise her profile even more. Viola Davis, herself receiving Oscar buzz for her role in last summer’s The Help, is in talks to work with Rees on an HBO series she’ll produce and probably star in through her own newly formed production company. The untitled project will focus on the morally ambiguous headmaster of a private school and the corruption that follows her. Sounds intriguing and, best of all, a great step for both Davis – who, up until The Help, was often the best minor character in mediocre films – and for Rees. May the resulting series, whatever it becomes, catapult them both to even greater success.

Franco’s gay streak continues

James Franco is no stranger to playing gay. On screen he’s been James Dean, Allen Ginsberg, Hart Crane, Harvey Milk’s boyfriend Scott Smith and an ambiguous stoner in the comedy Pineapple Express. So here he goes again, this time tackling the role of legendary contemporary artist Robert Mapplethorpe for an upcoming biopic. The controversial artist, who died of AIDS in 1989 and whose frankly homoerotic photographs caused a firestorm of censorship efforts among cultural conservatives in the late 1980s, is almost tailor-made for a big screen story. And given the artist’s huge personality and bravado, the actor who plays him should be equally unafraid, which makes it a perfect fit for Franco. The upcoming film, among the first to receive grants through Tribeca Film Institute’s “All Access Program” and directed by documentarian Ondi Timoner, will be produced by Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Eliza Dushku and her brother Nate Dushku, who was, at one time, expected to play Mapplethorpe. More news to come as production rolls on.

* Romeo San Vicente is generally law-abiding, depending on which state he’s visiting. He can be reached care of this publication or at

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