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Dave Franco on His Brother’s Best Performance Yet in ‘The Disaster Artist’

“I have always said that I wanted a Coen brother,” James Franco says. “I want someone that I can work with closely and collaborate with and depend on. I had a f—ing Franco brother all along.” Variety talked with Dave, the 32-year-old star of “Neighbors” and “22 Jump Street,” about launching a production company with James.

The Disaster Artist” is the first time the two of you had large roles in the same movie.
It was amazing. For a while, I made a conscious decision not to work with him, just because I wanted to pave my own path. I didn’t want to be referred to as James Franco’s little brother for the rest of my life. But we have very similar sensibilities.

Did you know James would be directing in character?
I did not. But at this point, there’s not much he can do that surprises me. Almost every day, a new person would come to the set, and I would have to prep them that they would not be interacting with James today. They would be interacting with Tommy.

Who got the most confused by that?
Seth Rogen. It took him about a week to get used to it. I remember at one point, he came up to me and said, “This is freaking me out and you’re his brother. How the fuck are you keeping a straight face through any of these takes?” I remember Seth’s grandma came to set one day, and after a few hours, she finally asked, “Where’s James?” Seth pointed to my brother, who was in the Tommy makeup. At that point, Seth’s grandma decided that she wasn’t going to like the movie.

James said he wants to co-direct with you.
I would love to do that. I guess the PGA has very strict rules about people co-directing. We’re going to do everything we can to make it happen.

Why are you interested in producing?
We’ve both already started putting together a slate of projects. They are all over the map in terms of genre and size of budget. But the unifying element to all of them is they are all projects that feel slightly outside the box and bring something new to the table.

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