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Dave Franco
Dave Franco 2016 Comic Con.jpg
Franco in 2016
David John Franco

(1985-06-12) June 12, 1985 (age 37)
Education University of Southern California (attended)
  • Actor
  • voice actor
  • director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active 2006–present
(m. 2017)

David John Franco (born June 12, 1985) is an American actor, writer and director. 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), Easy A (2010), 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

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". Dave has stated that he is "proud" to be Jewish. 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.

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 has also had noticeable roles in films such as Superbad, Charlie St. Cloud, 21 Jump Street, Warm Bodies, The Shortcut and Now You See Me. 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. & Easy A Franco portrayed the role of medical student Cole Aaronson, whose family paid a large sum of money to Sacred Heart Hospital so that he would receive an internship. 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' 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 follows a teenage boy who finds out his neighbor is a vampire. Franco played the role of popular high school student Mark. The film 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 as Eric. The film was based on the 1987 television series of the same name.

In 2013, he co-starred in the zombie romance film Warm Bodies, as Perry Kelvin. The film, an adaptation of the best-selling novel Warm Bodies, followed a romance between a zombie and a human during a zombie apocalypse. 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. 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.

Dave Franco The Afterparty (cropped)
Franco in 2022's The Afterparty

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.

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

Personal life

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.


Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Frat Bros. A.J. Short
2007 Superbad Greg the Soccer Player
After ... Sam
2008 Milk Telephone Tree #5
2009 Shortcut, TheThe Shortcut Mark
A Fuchsia Elephant Michael Short; also executive producer
2010 Greenberg Rich
Easy A Himself
Charlie St. Cloud Sully
2011 Broken Tower, TheThe 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
2015 Unfinished Business Mike Pancake
2016 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Pete Regazolli
Now You See Me 2 Jack Wilder
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
2019 Zeroville Montgomery Clift
6 Underground David / Six
2020 The Rental N/A Producer, writer and director
2021 Zola Producer
2022 Day Shift Seth
TBA Somebody I Used to Know Not yet released Filming; writer and director


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 Main role (season 9)
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 Main role
2022 The Afterparty Xavier Main role
Pam & Tommy Executive producer

Video games

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


Year Title Role Notes
2011 You're So Hot Himself Funny or Die short; also writer
2011 Go ... 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


Year Title Company Notes
2020 Le Pionnier, a RIMOWA x Garrett Leight Film RIMOWA Director

Awards and nominations

Association Year Category Work Result Ref(s)
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 Pending
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