With the release of The Disaster Artist in 2017, everyone in Hollywood was talking about the film's co-stars: James and Dave Franco. These brothers have certainly made their mark in both movies and TV.
While James became something of a Hollywood megastar thanks to his breakout role in TNT’s James Dean, younger brother Dave has only really emerged in recent years. James has ridden a tidal wave of success with movies like Spider-Man, Milk, and 127 Hours, and moved on to writing and directing films in recent years. James has also recently faced media scrutiny over allegations of assault toward women. On the other hand, Dave is happily married to Alison Brie and enjoyed roles in features including 21 Jump Street, Fright Night, and Now You See Me.
Regardless of their pasts, Dave and James Franco are two of the biggest stars in Tinsel Town in 2018, so you might think you know everything you could about the pair. Well, you'd be mistaken. Let's dive into the unknown secrets and behind-the-scenes scoops about these two famous brothers.
Here are 16 Secrets No One Knew About James And Dave Franco.
In his youth, James Franco was something of a rebel, which has led to some pretty big names showing a dislike to the actor. Among those is Fast and Furious star Tyrese Gibson.
These days, Gibson is busy battling with The Rock, but back then, he had daggers for the oldest Franco. The battle of the egos first came to light in 2006 when the pair were promoting their roles in Navy boxing drama Annapolis.
Franco is known for his method acting, and in the lead up to the movie’s finale boxing scene between the two actors, James wouldn’t get out of character. Swinging constant punches in rehearsal, Gibson said that Franco refused to lighten up. Franco has since said he would like to work with Gibson again, but Tyrese’s response...well, according to James in a GQ interview, "he wants to blow up my hotel room."
Fans of YA fiction will know that Robert Pattinson got to sink his teeth into the role of teen vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight movie series. For five films, Pattinson brought the brooding smizing of that twinkly vamp to our screens in an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's popular series. However, did you know that Dave Franco auditioned for the same part?
Franco even met with director Catherine Hardwicke about playing Edward, but admits he doesn’t know how close he got. Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be, meaning we got a lot of Pattinson and his eyebrows between 2008 and 2012.
Who would you rather find climbing through your window in the middle of the night: Franco or Pattinson?
A bit like Luke “the forgotten” Hemsworth, there is another Franco lurking out there in Tinsel Town. Aged 37, Tom Franco is the middle brother between James and Dave. While he may not be as well-known as his siblings, he seems to be just as eccentric.
In honor of his family’s artistic history, Tom is the founder and co-director of Berkeley’s Firehouse Art Collective, where he is known for his work made into found-object sculptures. In the middle of last year, James even collaborated with Tom on many of his art exhibitions (called "Pipe Brothers") creating giant ceramic sculptures out of sewer pipes.
He's not just limited to art, though. Tom has been known to tread the boards as well. He starred in horror-comedy in 1990's Basket Case 2, had an uncredited part in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and even appeared in James’ The Disaster Artist.
While James and Dave move in a lot of the same circles to star in movies with the likes of Seth Rogen, neither of them actually shared any time on the set of a movie until 2017’s The Disaster Artist. Turning Tommy Wiseau’s “the best worst movie ever made” into a Hollywood affair was what finally brought Franco and Franco together.
Dave famously played Tommy’s BFF Greg Sestero alongside James’ unnervingly accurate turn as Wiseau. As to why it took them 32 years to work together, Dave said he wanted to carve his own path without just being known as the little brother of James Franco. It certainly worked: Dave manage to make a name for himself as an actor.
Young TV love isn’t quite as rosy as they make it seem on the small screen. One of James’ earliest roles was playing Daniel on Freaks and Geeks. He starred alongside Busy Phillips, where the two played love interests, but it seems that their relationship took a violent turn behind-the-scenes.
In one improv scene, producers and Franco wanted to expand Daniel’s backstory tso that he no longer wanted his girlfriend after coming from an abusive family. In a 2016 edition of Watch What Happens Live, Phillips revealed that she smacked a 19-year-old Franco during the scene and he shoved her to the ground, saying “Don’t ever touch me.”
It apparently turned the entire cast (bar Seth Rogen) of the one season show against Franco. While they have since made up, it’s doubtful they are on each other’s Christmas card lists.
While some stars are born into acting, others work their way up in “Before They Were Famous” roles. Not afraid to get his hands greasy, one of James’ first jobs was working in McDonald’s. The star even told The Washington Post that those golden arches were there for him when no one else was.
When Franco was 18, he moved to LA from Palo Alto to study English at UCLA and needed some quick cash when he dropped out to pursue his career in acting. The local restaurants wouldn’t take him, but apparently McDonald's would.
Interestingly, James had been a vegetarian for a year before he got the job at McDonald’s but soon relented and started eating the cheeseburgers. Just three months after starting at McDonald’s Franco ironically landed a Super Bowl commercial for Pizza Hut and never looked back.
It turns out that James isn’t the only one with a checkered past when it comes to education. The bright lights of Tinsel Town managed to snare both brothers and snatch them away from their original career plans.
While studying Psychology and Film at the University of South California, Dave wrote two full-length screenplays and wanted to teach creative writing as a high school teacher. However, it wasn't to last.
James later guided his younger brother into an acting class, where he soon caught the bug and never looked back. So, it looks like Dave’s Neighbors counterpart could actually be more qualified than him. Finishing just a few credits shy of completing his course, Dave said he might return to the idea one day. Well, it always helps if his acting career goes down the pan.
Both James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were stars on the rise when Christopher Nolan tackled his mind-bending Inception. Franco nabbed himself the second lead as Arthur, alongside an all-star cast that included the likes of Leo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine. But Franco wasn’t set to join them for long.
James was forced to drop out over scheduling conflicts and we never got to see the maddening acting of Franco and DiCaprio sharing a screen..That being said, with roles coming out of Franco’s ears, this is just another one that got away.
Who knows though: if Franco had taken the role of Arthur maybe his relationship with Nolan would’ve continued with him suiting up to play Robin Blake in The Dark Knight Rises.
Before Dave’s chiseled jaw was making audiences swoon in theaters, some may remember that he had a brief stint on hospital comedy Scrubs. Dave may have had his TV debut back in 2006 thanks to The CW’s 7th Heaven, but he started to hit the mainstream when he joined the maligned season 9 of Scrubs.
If anyone tuned in for the final (and revamped) season of the show, they will remember Franco’s pretty reasonable performance as medical student Cole Aaronson. Dave got a rare bit of praise in the abysmal last run of thirteen episodes from the once beloved show, but it appears that droves of long-term viewers weren’t the only one who passed.
James admits he hasn’t seen a single one of his brother’s Scrubs episodes, revealing to Vanity Fair “I did not see the last season of Scrubs that he was in.” It looks like he isn’t his Dave’s No. 1 fan.
Dave Franco has been with Alison Brie for a number of years and they seem as solid as a rock. However, that didn’t stop the media guessing that there was trouble in paradise not long after they tied the knot.
After dating since 2012, Franco married the Community and GLOW star in a secret ceremony last March. While it looked like young love in its purest, the press demanded to know why Dave wasn’t wearing his ring.
Well, it turns out that Dave must’ve been eating a few burgers while on set because his finger was too fat the ring. Don’t worry, though, he had nothing but good things to say about married life and promised to get it enlarged eventually. This meant the paparazzi could go back to chasing other scoops and leave the happy couple alone.
Some people will do anything to get famous, and smoking is just one of them. As well as being veggie before his trip behind the counter at McDonald’s, James was also against smoking. Well, until he was offered the job of the lifetime, that is.
Channeling his inner James Dean for TNT’s biopic about the tragic star, James took to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.
This was apparently just the tip of the iceberg, he also learned to play guitar, started riding a motorcycle, and cut himself off from his family. So the James Franco school of method acting was born, but it was a price that has paid off. James Dean turned out to be Franco’s breakout role and he managed to kick the habit (and start talking to his family). He won a Golden Globe for the role.
Forget crazy cat lady, it sounds like Dave Franco is very own crazy cat man - a title that he is more than happy to wear with pride.
Before his relationship with Brie, Franco admits that he was a single guy with two 16-pound cats known as Harry and Arturo. Speaking to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, the star revealed how his friends keep telling him to stop taking his cats to interviews, but that he just can’t help it.
Luckily for Dave, Brie is quite at home with his feline friends and having 32-pounds of fluff sleep on her every night. Dave joked that his wife was the only option when it came to marriage because she was willing to put up with them.
In the recent wave of the Weinstein scandal, shocking allegations have rocked Hollywood. James currently finds himself embroiled with several women who have made claims against him, but this isn’t the first time he has been in trouble with wp,em. Back in 2014, Franco tried to pick up someone underage on Instagram.
Lucy Clode was a Scottish tourist who is believed to have met Franco during one of his Of Mice and Men Broadway performances. The two flirted over social media, with Clode asking for evidence that it really was Franco. He apparently obliged and asked if he should rent a hotel room, but the two never met.
When the story leaked, Franco posted "I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you." on social media before later deleting it. He has since admitted that the incident happened and called it bad judgment.
We've already discussed Tom Franco, but what about the tale of his tragic marriage to Julia Lazar Franco?
Born in Vienna, Lazar also had artistic parents, which drew her to Tom later in life. The two met in 2003 and founded the Firehouse Art Collective only a year later. The pair touched the lives of many a talented artist and were known for their work in the community. However, their life together wasn’t to be a particularly long one.
After a prolonged engagement Julia fell ill, and the pair were married in a hospital solarium just a month before she died. Lazar died aged 56 after suffering from liver cancer, Hepatitis C, and reported problems with her kidneys. Franco has since carried on his work with the Firehouse Art Collective, but remains single.
Rumors of James Franco’s orientation has long surrounded him, and even the actor himself has been forced to address it publicly. However, this is probably not the way to do it. In a particularly bizarre interview with FourTwoNine, “straight” James Franco interviewed “gay” James Franco and asked him straight out, "Are you f---ing gay or what?"
Known for his parts in movies like Milk and I Am Michael, the media has always speculated whether Franco is gay, and he is well within his rights to tell them to mind their own business. That being said, his interviews have become more erratic and he even told art critic Jerry Saltz “I’m a little bit gay," and then bizarrely later said "I'm gay in my art and straight in my life."
While it doesn’t really matter what his orientation is, we can’t help but feel that some of Franco’s comments are used to grab headlines and stir the pot.
While both brothers are known for their creative talents, James has always been seen as the artist out of himself and Dave. Rivaling the success of Tom, James has gone on to make a name for himself thanks to his abstract art. Among those who have bought his paintings are Sharon Stone and Tom DeLonge. However, following the assault allegations, his artwork has been less well-received.
Palo Alto High School had proudly displayed a mural that Franco had painted and also a series of paintings that he had donated hung around the school. The high school decided to remove all traces of Franco’s work in a move that Superintendent Karen Hendricks said was “in the best interests of our students in light of our educational mission.” While Hendricks didn’t mention the allegations the reason behind the actions, the school newspaper did boldy report that this was why.
Do you have any more Franco secrets to share? Leave them in the comments.