It's okay if you haven't heard of actor Val Lauren just yet—plenty of people won't have even heard of Sal Mineo, the actor he's about to play, until they hear that James Franco is producing, directing and co-writing a movie about the late Rebel Without a Cause star.
Based on Michael Gregg Michaud's superb bio, the film Sal will tell the life story of the Bronx-born Mineo, whose naive family helped usher him to Hollywood fame as a teenager, but whose real passion was always the art of acting and directing.
Mineo was also unabashedly gay at a time when most other Hollywood stars were firmly entrenched in the closet, both personally and professionally, so his story includes a long, romantic, same-sex relationship as well as enough sexual kinks to fill a couple of Almodovar movies.
In his first interview since landing the juicy role, Lauren opens up about how he got it, his impressions of his new boss, where his head is at as he prepares to portray Mineo and why a straight married dude relates to a guy who bedded Bobby Sherman before any teenyboppers had even seen his first pinup.
Boy Culture: Had you ever heard of Sal Mineo prior to the part coming up, and what impressions did you have of him?