A Younger Brother Breaks Out: Cinemark Talks to Dave Franco of the new film WARM BODIES
January 29, 2013
Having burst onto the scene in 2008, Dave Franco, James' younger
brother, is steadily positioning himself as one of Hollywood's most
promising young talents. As a pivotal member of the new film WARM
BODIES, Franco is ready to take the leap into bigger
An avid writer, Franco's comedic writing skills can be seen in his funnyordie.com videos. His television credits included a stint on the ABC series "Scrubs, and most recently, "Privileged" on The CW. Movie credits include the films "Greenberg," "Charlie St. Cloud," "Superbad," "Milk," and "Fright Night." In March of 2012 Franco truly broke out in the highly successful "21 Jump Street" and will be seen soon in the action thriller "Now You See Me."
Cinemark's Frank Gonzales had a chance to speak with Franco about WARM BODIES and what movie fans can expect from this fresh take on zombie movies.
Cinemark: You're not onscreen for a long time but you have a pretty pivotal role in WARM BODIES.
Dave Franco: WARM BODIES is about this guy who is undead, played by Nicholas Hoult, who falls in love with a human girl played by Teresa Palmer. I play Teresa's boyfriend who is killed by Nicholas's character in the beginning of the movie. So I die pretty early on, but throughout the film as Nicholas' character eats my brains he gets visions and sees moments from my past. So as he sees these brief instances of intimate moments I had with Teresa it triggers something in him and changes him a way that he starts to have human emotions; to literally have his heart beat again. So throughout the film as he sees more and more of these moments from my life it starts to turn him into a human. So yes, I'm not on-screen a ton, but it's an integral character in the film.
CM: Your character has to be kind and loving, then a ruthless zombie-slayer. How was it to film two vastly different sides to a character?
DF: It was great. To be given the opportunity to have that kind of range over the span of a few scenes is a great opportunity. My character starts out as an innocent, naïve, love-struck kid who has this tunnel vision for this girl; she is all he sees and cares about. But after seeing his father die in front of his eyes that's what changes and hardens him. All he cares about now is ending the zombie apocalypse as his relationsship with her falls by the wayside. So it was nice to be given the chance to go through at least a small journey with this character.
CM: You've done some writing, and been on TV and on some internet shows. What was it about this script, from a writer's standpoint, that appealed to you?
DF: I think I was intrigued because it was different. We've seen other zombie movies but this one stood out because the tone was slightly different. Also a main draw was the involvement of Jonathan Levine, the director. I was a huge fan of his previous films, THE WACKNESS, and 50/50. Just knowing his track record and knowing how smart he is, I knew he would bring something different to this film. I knew he could handle the unique tone of the movie based on the fact that in 50/50 he was able to balance a very serious overall concept about someone dealing with cancer, yet still finding humor in it as well. His being attached to it drew me in.
CM: A zombie movie being told from the point of view of the zombie is a new perspective as well, isn't it?
DF: Definitely! And I think Nicholas Hoult, who plays the main character, carries the whole movie on his shoulders. That part could have easily been overacted or just become silly. Nicholas is just a subtle and grounded actor that he made it work. He somehow found a way to have this character go through this pretty big journey by grunting! He literally, throughout the movie, just grunts and says only a few words at a time, but you really get to see him grow. It's such a nuanced performance and I give him a lot of respect.
CM: Any last word for Cinemark fans about the movie?
DF: WARM BODIES has an extremely unique tone and in a way is unlike anything we've ever seen before. There are such talented people involved: Jonathan Levine, John Malkovich, Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, and they take this original premise and idea and really ground it so that it doesn't feel silly or something that people cannot grasp. Go see it! You'll have a great time!
Also, catch our exclusive video interview with Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer in WARM BODIES - coming to Cinemark this Friday! Do you plan to see this? Let us know by commenting below!