James Franco, Gucci

GUCCI/Nathaniel Goldberg/REM

When it comes to James Franco and his many, many, many projects, you never know what he'll be up to next. More classes, another book, a video of himself reading in bed, or maybe just acting in a good old film could all be on his to-do list.

But before he gets around to his next artistic stunt, let's explain his new project—exposing his ass on the cover of Flaunt magazine and revealing in the accompanying interview how his critics only fuel his artistic fires for stunts like that.

So what did he say about his haters?

"I don't think what I'm doing is confusing," Franco tells the magazine. "What is confusing is that I'm an actor in mainstream film and the people that usually comment on mainstream film are idiots, and they don't try to think outside of their pop-culture commentaries.

"It's so easy to criticize contemporary art from the outside: 'Douglas Gordon slowed down Psycho so it's 24 hours long? That's easy! I can do that.' That's how the morons in the blogosphere try to critique my work. But the great thing about it is, is that their critiques are part of my work. I like that they are confused. I like that they make fun of what I'm doing. It's a beautiful reflection of where our culture is at the moment."

Franco also took most of the pictures in the piece himself.

The actor also selected the writer and photographer for the story, instructing the scribe to meet him at the Chateau Marmont for an interview. The writer, Marc-Edouard Leon, was led through a locked gate, into Bungalow 2, a long evening of insanity began.

He is told to shave his beard because he needs to get into drag to play Vampira, the 1950s television Fright Night host and friend of James Dean's.

Franco arrived shortly thereafter, announcing that he is planning a Rebel Without a Cause-themed shoot with his subjects playing the opposite sex. After handing them booze, Franco tells them to get busy with, uh, strap-ons and hand lotion.

And that's just the beginning.

Franco drove everyone in a convertible Mustang to the peak of Mulholland Drive, telling the girls to strip on the way. Two hubcaps popped off the car because of his speed.

There they splattered fake blood all over themselves and rolled around in the dirt. Returning to the Chateau, Franco instructed his subjects to simulate sex with blow-up dolls then jump in the poll to clean themselves up from the whole nasty evening. He snapped pictures the whole time.

"Having sex with dolls with plastic d--ks is f--king great," Franco says. "Because you get to examine that act without the onus of people just looking at it and saying 'That's pornography.'"

After the long shoot, Franco was off to Detroit to film Oz, but says when he's on set he misses doing his own art projects.

"One of the reasons I've enjoyed working on Rebel is that it allowed for the unpolished side to come out," he said. "That's what I think about each art project. Where does the unforeseeable come in? Where do the mistakes come in? Where does the human come in?"

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