The actor says rumours about his sexuality act as a ‘smokescreen’.

Hollywood actor James Franco recently revealed what fuels his “obsession” with telling LGBT stories on screen – specifically that of gay men.

During an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the actor opened up about his “artistic preoccupation” with homosexuality and gay men in general.

Franco revealed that his interest in the area originated when he was studying at university.

“When I was studying at NYU, I took classes in critical studies, and one of my favourites was on queer cinema,” he explained.

“We’ve told the straight, heteronormative stories ad nauseam by now, in our movies, our shows, our commercials – everywhere.

“I think it’s healthy to make work that disrupts and questions that, and shows alternative narratives. That’s what an artist should do.”

Franco went on to say that the rumours surrounding his sexuality act as a “shield” when dating women.

“One of the nice things about all that speculation is that it’s a smokescreen,” he told the magazine.

The actor announced last year that he is currently working on porn drama film King Cobra– which will be based on the murder of Cobra Videos filmmaker Bryan Kocis in 2007.

He also starred in biopic ‘I am Michael’, which tells the controversial true story of gay activist Michael Glatze, who rejected his homosexuality and became a Christian pastor.

Last year, the actor, director-turned-poet released a book titled ‘Straight James / Gay James’.

The synopsis for the book reads: “Franco writes about life as an actor, sexuality, questions of identity, gender, family, Gucci, Lana Del Rey, James Dean, and Hollywood.

“His poetic style varies from the imagistic to the prosaic. The chapbook also contains an interview of ‘Gay James’ conducted by ‘Straight James.’

“Yes, Straight James asks the question: Let’s get substantial: are you gay or what?”