June July 2016
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The Advocate

Daniel Franzese Talks Love, Looking, and God

Daniel Franzese

Daniel Franzese made some lovely remarks at a recent fundraiser for Lambda Legal.

The Mean Girls and Looking actor, who had love’s wings pinned to his chest at the appropriately titled Love Lounge event, gushed about the recent Valentine’s Day weekend he just enjoyed with his boyfriend. In between appearances in Mortified — a live production that involves the “embarrassing” reenacting of works written by its actors as children — Franzese showed his partner, Joseph Phillips, the sights of San Francisco.

The pair’s “whirlwind” tour included the Golden Gate Bridge, Lands End park, the seaside restaurant Sutro’s, a billiard hall, Dolores Park, a viewing of Casablanca at the Castro Theatre, and a performance from the drag queen Carnie Asada.

“I’ve been to San Francisco a bunch, because of filming Looking there, and he had visited me there, but it was always so work-related,” Franzese said. “Even though I still had shows at night, we really got to see San Francisco this time.”

“It was really romantic and wonderful,” he added.

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Daniel Franzese

Franzese, who portrayed Cupid in Logo’s new sketch show Gay Skit Happens, had returned to the California city to finish filming the movie version of Looking, an HBO series that showcased gay life in San Francisco. The film recently made headlines due to its star Jonathan Groff, who said he performed his “most intense sex scene ever” during its production.

Unfortunately, Franzese confirmed that his character, an HIV-positive bear named Eddie, has no sex scenes in the Looking movie — although Eddie did have a memorable love scene with a romantic interest, Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez), during the show’s second and ultimately final season.

While he remained tight-lipped on specific details, Franzese said the Looking movie will give viewers more than just sex. In fact, he said it will offer what LGBT films often lack.

“Happy and fun and romantic — this is one of those kinds of movies,” Franzese said. “I think it’s a beautiful little romantic comedy.”

Franzese had recently been recruited as a celebrity ambassador for Lambda Legal, one of the most prominent nonprofit organizations that fights for LGBT rights in the courts. The actor also works as an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, where he advocates for HIV prevention and awareness.

At the Lambda Legal fundraiser—held at Now Boarding, a West Hollywood airplane-themed bar—the activist stressed that as LGBT folks continue to celebrate last year’s victory in marriage equality, they should also rekindle another kind of love: that with God.

“A lot of LGBT people are forced by society norms to make a choice between gay or God. And I don’t think that’s something that needs to happen,” said Franzese, who identifies as a nondenominational Christian. “I’m going to church after this. And I really think it’s nice that that’s an option, for people to not feel like they have to deny God to be their authentic self, because God doesn’t deny them.”

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