Dave Franco Talks 'Twilight,' Zac Efron & Life with James
America, meet Dave Franco, your newest dreamboat.
Who is Dave? Well, he's the talented and handsome younger brother of another dreamboat actor, James Franco. Celebuzz got an exclusive interview with the 25-year-old rising star to talk about what it's like to be in a movie with Zac Efron, three things he's better at than James and why the Franco boys love Twilight.
You may recognize him from Greenberg, Scrubs, Charlie St. Cloud, Funny or Die, and–lest we forget–the dimple and smile-filled double Franco rainbow of amazingness that was the behind-the-scenes video for James' Esquire shoot. Here's our chat with Dave:
Celebuzz: What was it like co-starring with Zac Efron in Charlie St. Cloud? Did he share any dreamboat tips with you?
Dave: [Laughs.] I don't know about that...but here is a funny story: At the after-party of the premiere for Charlie St. Cloud, this little 4-year-old girl and her mom come up to me and they were like, 'Can we get your autograph?' And I said, 'Yeah of course!'...I sign the autograph and then [the mom] asks, 'Can we take a picture too?' and I'm like, 'Yeah, sure!' So, I put my arm around the little girl and right before the mom takes the picture she says, 'Yeah we are both the biggest fans of the first High School Musical' and that's when they clicked the picture. [Laughs]
The worst part about it is that my signature is so sloppy that I usually just print out my name when I sign autographs, so this little girl must be walking away crying, wondering who the hell this Dave Franco is and where the hell is her Zac Efron autograph.
Do people often think it was easy for you to come into Hollywood because you were James Franco's brother?
It was interesting. First off, when I started getting serious about acting, I was enrolled in USC, so I was trying to balance school and acting classes outside of school and auditions. I was so tired, I was going nuts. But I really loved it. [...] Then, once I started working a lot people were like, 'Where'd that come from?' and I was like, 'No, I've been working my ass off and I've been trying to balance with school and work for the past two years.'
James definitely helped me in the sense that he got me a manager, which was a huge step, and I don't take that for granted. But from there I had to prove myself because no one was going to hire me just because I was James Franco's little brother.
Watch Dave and James' "Acting with James Franco" short for Funny or Die below:
When I went to these auditions, people almost expected more out of me because of who my brother was, but in reality I didn't know what I was doing. I was just like any other kid who was starting out and falling flat on his face. Most of these kids who are starting out are failing miserably in these auditions and no one will ever remember it, but because of who my brother is, people were paying almost more attention to me to see how bad I really was at first. So, he definitely helped in ways, but in other ways it almost presented new challenges.
What are three things you're better at than James?
[Laughs] Ok, 1. I'm a much better athlete, 2. I'm better at Guitar Hero, and 3. I'm better at sleeping.
After your Funny or Die videos and your Esquire short, are there any other collaborations you are working on with James?
I'm actually going off to Vancouver to do a test shoot for a book that my brother and I have adapted called Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. We're taking a couple scenes from the screenplay that we wrote and we're going to film them just to get a feeling for the movie and use it as a pitching tool to try and get money for it.
We're also working on...let's just say that we're working on a show about college life. Let's just say that.
Watch James and Dave in the Dave-directed Esquire short below.
You're currently in New Mexico filming a remake of 'Fright Night' with Colin Farrell–can you tell us a little bit more about the project?
It's about a kid living next door to a vampire because every movie involves a vampire these days. This one is going to stand apart because it's a comedic horror movie and I don't think anyone's approached that angle with the vampire movies yet. It's an incredible cast: [Colin], Toni Colette, Anton Yelchin, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Really great cast and great director, this guy Craig Gillespie who directed Lars and the Real Girl.
It's been incredible, I play...I keep getting cast as this ass**** bully [Laughs] which is comical to me because I've never been in a fight in my life.
Is this going to be competing against Twilight?
It's definitely a different audience than Twilight. It's a very hard 'R,' very bloody, but it happens to be very funny too.
Have you seen any of the Twilight films?
I have seen Twilight. It's turned into a strange family tradition, we see the movies as a family now. I'm not quite sure why it's turned into a family tradition but...that's just how it is now.
You've previously mentioned that you enjoy writing. Is it a big part of your life?
I’ve actually been writing a lot longer than I’ve been acting. It started out in high school, I took an independent study class for poetry. I would write throughout the week and then I would meet up with this incredible teacher who would read through my work once a week at lunch. All my buddies were like, ‘So, uh, you write poetry…and then meet up with the teacher...and discuss it at lunch?’ [Laughs] They weren’t quite sure what was going on. No, but I just love to write.
Do you have any favorite writers?
Definitely Bukowski. This book [Ham on Rye] is one of my favorite books. That's what makes this process so exciting is getting to adapt something that you are so passionate about. As for playwrights, Kenneth Lonergan [who wrote] This Is Our Youth and Lobby Hero. I also love reading Roald Dahl, who is just one of my favorites because he's technically writing these children's books, but they're so dark and then you look back and you can't believe that these are geared towards a younger audience. He was definitely my favorite growing up.
What do you think of Dave? Is he awesome or super awesome? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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