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Sunderland Echo - - The Big Screen -

t can be hard to grow up in the shadow of an older sib­ling, es­pe­cially if that sib­ling is as fa­mous and suc­cess­ful as James Franco. This seems to be some­thing Dave Franco has al­ways been aware of. Seven years younger than his Os­car-nom­i­nated brother, it was the rea­son he re­jected of­fers to work to­gether time af­ter time.

Af­ter the el­der Franco, now 39, found fame on the crit­i­cally-ac­claimed but short-lived Freaks And Geeks, he fol­lowed it up as Harry Os­born op­po­site Tobey Maguire’s Spi­der-Man and bagged a best actor nod for 127 Hours. He also ex­panded into di­rect­ing, writ­ing and teach­ing - he’s a film pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

But Dave, 32, has de­lib­er­ately veered away from the path trod­den by his big brother, with roles in the Now You See Me films and Bad Neigh­bours - un­til now.

The pair fi­nally team up in The Dis­as­ter Artist, di­rected by James, a film about the so-bad-it’s-a-cult­clas­sic movie The Room.

The older Franco plays the mys­te­ri­ous and ec­cen­tric film­maker and star Tommy Wiseau, while the younger is Greg Ses­tero, the am­bi­tious hand­some actor Wiseau took un­der his wing. “I al­ways wanted to work to­gether,” James en­thuses. “And I thought, ‘This is the one, I hope he says yes’. I can ac­tu­ally re­mem­ber talk­ing to one of the other pro­duc­ers about it, say­ing, ‘I re­ally want Dave to do this, will you talk to him?’ be­cause he had said no a cou­ple of times. I crossed my fin­gers.”

That re­fusal to col­lab­o­rate had been a de­lib­er­ate strat­egy on Dave’s part. “When I was first start­ing my ca­reer, I wanted to pave my own path, I wanted to do my own thing,” he ex­plains.

“Af­ter a while I felt like I was

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