James Franco has been named Leading Man of the Year.

The '127 Hours'actor was one of a number of honourees recognised by the US edition of GQ magazine for their achievements in the last 12 months, and will be one of five special cover stars to feature on the publication's annual Men of the Year issue.

Also featured are rapper Drake, who was named Breakout Star of the Year, actor Jeff Bridges, who was given the coveted Icon of the Year accolade, comedian, presenter and actor Stephen Colbert, who is the recipient of The Patriot of the Year prize and Babe of the Year Scarlett Johansson.

As well as his acting career, James is also taking classes at five universities and in his accompanying interview in the magazine, the 35-year-old star spoke of his interest in 'queer theory'after taking a class with Michael Warner, one of the founders of the school of thought.

The screen star - who has played gay or bisexual characters in 'Howl', 'Blind Spot' and 'Milk'- said: "Basically, it's a wide-reaching approach to whatever - literature, life, politics. It is on the most basic level an anti-normative approach to all of these subjects.

"One approach to things might be to classify everything as, 'This is straight, this is gay; this is Republican, this is Democrat,'whatever. The queer approach is to complicate all of that and see the way all of these different things are intermingled and connected."