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