If you are not already familiar with the name Dave Franco, chances are you will be soon.
You might recognize the enterprising 25-year-old from his work on “Greek,” “Privileged” and “Scrubs.” He’s also appeared in several videos on FunnyOrDie.com, including a series called “Acting With James Franco” (James Franco is Dave’s brother).
But these are all things from the past. Looking ahead to what’s in store for Franco in 2011, we’ll see him on screens big and small, in front of and behind the camera. When MTV News caught up with the up-and-comer recently, one of our 11 for ’11, we chatted about “Fright Night,” a TV series he’d like to get off the ground and whether we’ll see him at the Oscars in a skit alongside his big bro .
MTV: We’ve talked about “Fright Night” before, and even though you’re sworn to secrecy about plot details, have you seen any of the film yet?
Dave Franco: I have not seen anything, but I’ve only heard good things so far. I may have mentioned this before, but despite being a vampire movie, it’s very grounded and realistic. If I had to compare it to another vampire movie, I would say “Let the Right One In,” where everything is treated with realism but the only difference is that “Fright Night” happens to be hilarious too, mainly due to really funny actors like David Tennant and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Colin Farrell is hilarious also.
MTV: You’ve also mentioned that you’ve been working on your own material. What can you tell us about that?
Franco: This past semester, I was working more behind the camera, and I directed, produced and wrote this Web series about college life. The basic idea stems from a conversation I had with my friend about how there are really only a handful of projects at most, whether it be film or TV, that really capture what college is like. For the most part, it’s all sensationalized and over-the-top. We decided we wanted to give a very HBO-type look at what really happens in college. We figured, ‘It’s crazy enough as it is; let’s just show what’s really going on.’ So we followed a handful of kids at USC throughout the semester, and the whole tone is a little strange, because it’s part documentary, part reality, part scripted. It’s kind of a weird mesh of everything, but it came out really cool. I hope people respond well to it. I’m happy, because we were able to capture what we set out for. … I went to USC, and watching this footage, I can attest that this is really what it’s like. This is what happens on a typical night.
MTV: Sounds intriguing. Where do you want it to end up?
Franco: We still need to figure that out. It’s all edited and everything is ready to go. We just have to figure out how we want to present it and where. We’ve always wanted to get this on TV, ideally an HBO, Showtime or FX. We’re almost using this Web series as a pitching tool that will hopefully generate some interest, and then we can go from there.
MTV: What else are you working on?
Franco: We’re filming a couple of Funny or Die videos later this month. There’s also a feature film that I’m writing for my brother and I to star in, where we play versions of ourselves named Davie and James. Without giving away too much, it all takes place around Thanksgiving and Christmas break around our hometown of Palo Alto [California]. Our real family will be in it, my real friends from home will be in it, and the vibe of it is going to be an extended version of our Funny or Die videos. It’s going to be difficult for me, because it’s now a 90-minute version of him giving me sh– and making fun of me.
MTV: Don’t let him do that!
Franco: [Laughs.] I’ll give it back, trust me, but it takes its toll. It wears on you.
MTV: Any chance we’ll see you in something for the Oscars, since you have a pretty good connection to the host?
Franco: There’s been talks of us doing a digital short for that. We’ll see, though. Potentially another installment in the “Acting With James Franco.” We’ll see.
Check out MTV News’ 11 for ’11 — actors, musicians and TV stars who are about to have a huge year — all week long.
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