David John Franco
June 12, 1985
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
|Education||University of Southern California (attended)|
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.
Franco was born in Palo Alto, California, to Betsy Lou (née Verne), a poet, children's book author, and editor, and Douglas Eugene Franco (1948–2011), who ran a nonprofit agency and a business; the two met as students at Stanford University. Franco's father was of Portuguese (from Madeira) and Swedish descent. Franco's mother is Jewish (of Russian Jewish descent); her parents had changed the surname from "Verovitz" to "Verne". Franco's paternal grandmother, Marjorie (Peterson) Franco, is a published author of young adult books. 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. Franco grew up in California with his two older brothers, James and Tom, both of whom are also actors.
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.
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. 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.
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.
MTV Networks' NextMovie.com named him one of its "Breakout Stars to Watch For" in 2011. 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". 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. 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.
Franco's 2014 roles included the Seth Rogen comedy Neighbors and a cameo appearance in 22 Jump Street. 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. In 2015, he co-starred with Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkinson in the comedy Unfinished Business.
In 2016, he reprised his roles in the sequels Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, as Pete, and Now You See Me 2, as Jack Wilder. 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. Franco then had a small role in If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins. In 2019, Franco starred in Zeroville, directed by his brother, James, which was originally shot in 2014, portraying the role of actor Montgomery Clift. He next starred in the action-thriller 6 Underground, directed by Michael Bay.
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. It was released on July 24, 2020.
Franco started dating actress Alison Brie in 2012. In August 2015, the couple became engaged. On March 13, 2017, representatives for the couple confirmed that they had married in a private ceremony. Franco is Jewish and has stated that he is proud to be Jewish.
|2007||Superbad||Greg the Soccer Player|
|2008||Milk||Telephone Tree #5|
|A Fuchsia Elephant||Michael||Short; also executive producer|
|Charlie St. Cloud||Sully|
|2011||The Broken Tower||Young Hart Crane|
|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)|
|22 Jump Street||Eric Molson||Uncredited cameo|
|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|
|2017||The Little Hours||Massetto|
|The Disaster Artist||Greg Sestero|
|The Lego Ninjago Movie||Lloyd Garmadon (voice)|
|If Beale Street Could Talk||Levy|
|6 Underground||David / Six|
|2020||The Rental||—||Producer, writer and director|
|2023||Somebody I Used to Know||—||Writer and director|
|TBA||Love Lies Bleeding||TBA||Post-production|
|2006||7th Heaven||Benjamin Bainsworth||Episode: "Highway to Cell"|
|2008||Do Not Disturb||Gus||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"|
|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||Krapopolis||Broseidon (voice)||Episode: "The Stuper Bowl"|
|2016||Marvel Avengers Academy||Tony Stark / Iron Man|
|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
|Independent Spirit Awards||2022||Best Film||Zola||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||2015||Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Zac Efron)||Neighbors||Won|||
|Primetime Emmy Awards||2022||Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series||Pam & Tommy||Nominated|||
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