Dave Franco

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Dave Franco
Franco in 2016
David John Franco

(1985-06-12) June 12, 1985 (age 38)[1]
EducationUniversity of Southern California (attended)
  • Actor
  • voice actor
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • director
Years active2006–present
(m. 2017)

David John Franco (born June 12, 1985) is an American actor and filmmaker. He began his career with small roles in films such as Superbad (2007) and Charlie St. Cloud (2010). Following a starring role in the ninth season of the comedy series Scrubs, Franco had his film breakthrough as a supporting role in the buddy comedy film 21 Jump Street (2012).

Franco has also starred in Fright Night (2011), Now You See Me (2013) and its sequel Now You See Me 2 (2016), Neighbors (2014), Nerve (2016), The Disaster Artist (2017), and Day Shift (2022). In 2020, he made his directorial debut with The Rental, which starred his wife Alison Brie.

Early life[edit]

Franco was born in Palo Alto, California, to Betsy Lou (née Verne), a poet, children's book author,[2] and editor, and Douglas Eugene Franco (1948–2011), who ran a nonprofit agency[2] and a business;[2][3][4] the two met as students at Stanford University.[5][6][7] Franco's father was of Portuguese (from Madeira) and Swedish descent.[8] Franco's mother is Jewish (of Russian Jewish descent);[9] her parents had changed the surname from "Verovitz" to "Verne". Franco's paternal grandmother, Marjorie (Peterson) Franco, is an author of young adult books.[10][11] Franco's maternal grandmother, Mitzie (Levine) Verne, owned the Verne Art Gallery, a prominent art gallery in Cleveland, and was an active member in the National Council of Jewish Women.[12][13][14] Franco grew up in California with his two older brothers, James and Tom, both of whom are also actors.[15]

He studied at the University of Southern California, and originally envisioned himself as a high school teacher teaching creative writing, until his brother James Franco's manager guided him to a theater class when he was a sophomore, where he started learning acting skills.[16]



In 2006, Franco made his acting debut on The CW drama television series 7th Heaven. He appeared in television shows such as Do Not Disturb and Young Justice. Franco also had noticeable roles in films such as Superbad and The Shortcut. In May 2008, he was cast in The CW teen drama television series Privileged.[17] The series centered on a live-in tutor for two spoiled heiresses in Palm Beach. Franco was cast in an initial major recurring role. The series premiered on September 9, 2008, to 3.1 million viewers. Ratings continued to slip each week, with the series sixth episode reaching 1.837 million viewers. The CW did not renew the series for a second season due to low ratings.[18][19]

In August 2009, Variety announced Franco was cast in a regular role for the ninth season of the ABC sitcom series Scrubs. Portraying the role of Cole Aaronson; Franco went on to appear in all thirteen episodes of the ninth season and received praise from critics for his performance; however, the ninth was the final season of the series.[20]


Franco at an LG Electronics event in 2013

MTV Networks' NextMovie.com named him one of its "Breakout Stars to Watch For" in 2011.[21] In August 2011, Franco starred in the 3D horror comedy film Fright Night alongside Colin Farrell and Toni Collette. The film is a remake of the 1985 film of the same name and received positive reviews from critics and went on to make over $41 million worldwide.

In April 2012, Shalom Life ranked him and his brother James at number 2 on its list of "the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish men in the world".[22] In March 2012, Franco starred in the Columbia Pictures action comedy film 21 Jump Street, which was based on the 1987 television series of the same name.

In 2013, he co-starred in the zombie romance film Warm Bodies, an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name.[23] The same year, Franco appeared in the ensemble crime thriller film Now You See Me. To promote the film, he was interviewed on the Bob Rivers Show, based in Seattle. Rivers persuaded Franco to show the card-throwing abilities he had learned and Franco expertly sliced half a banana into a further half with his hotel card.[24]

Franco's 2014 roles included the Seth Rogen comedy Neighbors and a cameo appearance in 22 Jump Street.[25][26] For the former, Franco won an MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo, alongside Zac Efron. Their pre-planned skit during their acceptance speech, involving both of them dressed as Robert De Niro characters and squeezing each other's crotches, sparked media backlash.[27][28][29] In 2015, he co-starred with Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkinson in the comedy Unfinished Business.[30]

In 2016, he reprised his roles in the sequels Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, as Pete, and Now You See Me 2, as Jack Wilder.[31][32] The following year, Franco appeared in the well-received comedy The Little Hours, and the acclaimed biographical comedy-drama, The Disaster Artist, which was directed by his brother, James. In the latter film, he portrays Greg Sestero, a young actor who befriends the eccentric Tommy Wiseau, and ultimately stars in Wiseau's film, The Room.

In 2018, Franco starred in the addiction drama 6 Balloons opposite Abbi Jacobson, for Netflix.[33] Franco then had a small role in If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins.[34] In 2019, Franco starred in Zeroville, directed by his brother, James, which was originally shot in 2014, portraying the role of actor Montgomery Clift.[35] He next starred in the action-thriller 6 Underground, directed by Michael Bay.[36]


In 2020, Franco made his directorial debut on the horror-thriller The Rental, from a screenplay he wrote alongside Joe Swanberg, which stars Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White, and Sheila Vand.[37] It was released on July 24, 2020.[38]

In 2022, Franco was in the main cast of the Apple TV+ mystery comedy series The Afterparty.

Personal life[edit]

Franco with his wife Alison Brie in 2023.

Franco started dating actress Alison Brie in 2012. In August 2015, the couple became engaged.[39][40] On March 13, 2017, representatives for the couple confirmed that they had married in a private ceremony.[41][42][43] Franco is Jewish.[44][45]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Frat Bros. A.J. Short
2007 Superbad Greg the Soccer Player
After Sex Sam
2008 Milk Telephone Tree #5
2009 The Shortcut Mark
A Fuchsia Elephant Michael Short; also executive producer
2010 Greenberg Rich
Charlie St. Cloud Sully
2011 The Broken Tower Young Hart Crane
Fright Night Mark
2012 Would You Dave Short; also writer
21 Jump Street Eric Molson
2013 Warm Bodies Perry Kelvin
Now You See Me Jack Wilder
2014 The Lego Movie Wally (voice)
Neighbors Pete Regazolli
22 Jump Street Eric Molson Uncredited cameo[46]
2015 Unfinished Business Mike Pancake
2016 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Pete Regazolli
Now You See Me 2 Jack Wilder
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Co-actor in the movie "Cube Theorem" Uncredited cameo[47]
Nerve Ian
2017 The Little Hours Massetto
The Disaster Artist Greg Sestero
The Lego Ninjago Movie Lloyd Garmadon (voice)
2018 6 Balloons Seth
If Beale Street Could Talk Levy[34]
2019 Zeroville Montgomery Clift
6 Underground David / Six
2020 The Rental Producer, writer and director
2021 Zola Producer
2022 Day Shift Seth
2023 Somebody I Used to Know Writer and director
2024 Love Lies Bleeding JJ


Year Title Role Notes
2006 7th Heaven Benjamin Bainsworth Episode: "Highway to Cell"
2008 Do Not Disturb Gus 5 episodes
2008 Greek Gonzo 6 episodes
2008–2009 Privileged Zachary 5 episodes
2009–2010 Scrubs Cole Aaronson 13 episodes
2011–2012 Young Justice Edward Nigma / Riddler
Episodes: "Terrors" and "Usual Suspects"
2015 Other Space Chad Simpson Episodes: "Into the Great Beyond... Beyond" and "Getting to Know You"
2016 BoJack Horseman Alexi Brosepheno (voice) Episode: "Love And/Or Marriage"
Easy Jeff 4 episodes
2018 Little Big Awesome Dave (voice) Episode: "Bed Follows/Gotta Get a Gimmick"
2021 The Now Ed Poole 14 episodes
2022 The Afterparty Xavier 7 episodes
Pam & Tommy Executive producer only
2023-2024 Krapopolis Broseidon (voice) 2 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2016 Marvel Avengers Academy Tony Stark / Iron Man[48]


Year Title Role Notes
2011 You're So Hot Himself Funny or Die short; also writer
2011 Go F*ck Yourself Himself Funny or Die short; also writer
2012 You're So Hot: Part Deux Himself Funny or Die short; also writer
2013 Dream Girl Himself Funny or Die short; also writer and director
2013 Real Life H-O-R-S-E! Himself Funny or Die short; also writer
2013 Chris & Daves Epic Adventure Himself Funny or Die series
2014 Hazing Himself Funny or Die short
2014 You're So Hot: Vol. 3 Beatrix Kiddo Funny or Die short
2015 Madden: The Movie Blade Johnson Madden NFL 16 promotional short

Awards and nominations[edit]

Association Year Category Work Result Ref(s)
Independent Spirit Awards 2022 Best Film Zola Nominated [49]
MTV Movie & TV Awards 2015 Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Zac Efron) Neighbors Won [50]
Primetime Emmy Awards 2022 Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series Pam & Tommy Nominated [51]


  1. ^ "Today in history". ABC News. Associated Press. June 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Wolfson, Jill (September–October 2009). "Penciling in a Career". STANFORD magazine. Stanford University. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  3. ^ "Douglas Franco: Obituary". San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times. via: Legacy.com. September 30, 2011. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  4. ^ "Management Team". SecureBox Corp. Archived from the original on December 20, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  5. ^ "James Franco's Father Dies at 63". E! Online. October 4, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  6. ^ "James Franco Biography". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  7. ^ Anderson, Sam. "The James Franco Project" New York, July 25, 2010.
  8. ^ "LatinoReview.com". Franco Talks Annapolis!. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved May 9, 2006.
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  10. ^ Marquis Who's Who, Inc (1991). Who's who of emerging leaders in America. Marquis Who's Who. ISBN 0-8379-7202-7.
  11. ^ Commire, Anne (1985). Something about the Author, Volume 38. Gale Research. p. 77. ISBN 0-8103-0071-0.
  12. ^ Spevack, Violet (January 31, 2002). "Cavalcade". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  13. ^ Spevack, Violet (October 23, 2009). "Cavalcade 10/23". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  14. ^ "Case Western Reserve University". Admission Case. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
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  16. ^ Bans, Lauren (March 16, 2012). "On the Cover: Dave Franco". GQ. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  17. ^ "Dave Franco biography and filmography | Dave Franco movies". Tribute.ca. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
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  19. ^ "Shows We Miss: Remembering The CW's Privileged". TV.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  20. ^ Korbi Ghosh (August 14, 2009). "'Scrubs' casts Dave Franco as the first of its new series regulars". Zap2It.com. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  21. ^ Evry, Max (January 5, 2011). "25 Breakout Stars to Watch for in 2011". Next Movie. Archived from the original on March 8, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
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  27. ^ "Zac Efron and Dave Franco indulge in some bulge-grabbing". April 13, 2023. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  28. ^ "See Zac Efron Get Kinda Shirtless, Punch Dave Franco's Junk". MTV. April 12, 2023. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  29. ^ "Was the punchline really just Efron grabbing Franco's balls?". Billboard. April 12, 2023. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  30. ^ "Watch the Red-Band Trailer for Vince Vaughn's New Comedy 'Unfinished Business'". November 26, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  31. ^ "MIDNIGHT SUN, the NOW YOU SEE ME Sequel, and More At TIFF 2013". Collider. December 18, 2013.
  32. ^ "Dave Franco Joining James Franco in Film Based on 'The Room'". Variety. June 9, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  33. ^ Coit, Casey (October 11, 2016). "Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco and Jane Kaczmarek to Star in Netflix Heroin Drama '6 Balloons'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  34. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (October 30, 2017). "'If Beale Street Could Talk': Dave Franco & Ed Skrein Cast In Barry Jenkins' Film". Deadline. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  35. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (September 30, 2019). "James Franco's 'Zeroville' Bombs With Measly $8,900 on 80 Screens". The Wrap. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  36. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 19, 2018). "Michael Bay's '6 Underground' Sets Ensemble to Join Ryan Reynolds (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  37. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 11, 2019). "Alison Brie, Dan Stevens To Star In Dave Franco Directing Debut 'The Rental'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  38. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 9, 2020). "IFC Lands U.S. Rights To Dave Franco-Directed Black Bear Pictures Thriller 'The Rental'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
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  40. ^ "Exclusive! Alison Brie and Dave Franco Engaged—See the Ring Now". E! Online. August 24, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  41. ^ "Dave Franco and Alison Brie Are Married". People. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  42. ^ By  Allison Takeda (January 19, 2017). "Dave Franco, Alison Brie Are Married! - Us Weekly". Usmagazine.com. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
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  44. ^ "Dave Franco and Conan O'Brien Discuss Shalom Life's JILF List [VIDEO]". Shalom Life. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  45. ^ Rhone, Paysha (February 14, 2009). "Spidey foe meets his match in Harvard's Hasty Pudding crew". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
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  48. ^ Eric Goldman (February 4, 2016). "Marvel Avengers Academy Launches with an All-Star Cast". IGN. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  49. ^ "Independent Spirit Awards – 37 Years of Nominees and Winners" (PDF). Film Independent. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  50. ^ Stedman, Alex (April 12, 2015). "Shailene Woodley, 'Fault in Our Stars' Dominate at MTV Movie Awards". Variety. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  51. ^ "Dave Franco". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved August 10, 2022.

External links[edit]