To research his role as a prostiute in Sonny, directed by Nicolas Cage, Franco admits to hitting Santa Monica Boulvard and talking to hookers who insisted they allow him to touch his penis to make sure he wasn't an undercover cop. When the hooker method failed, Franco turned to the New Orleans strip club scene, where he met a male stripper who became his muse. At one point Franco followed the stripper and his coworker to a hotel to sleep with a doctor. Franco sat in the corner, shirtless, and watched. Franco described the situation as "scary, weird" but "human" interaction.