Alison Brie and Dave Franco Bare All in Rom-Com ‘Someone I Used to Know’

“Yes, there is an ambulance right next to us,” a blurry but completely blown picture Alison Brie explained from the back of a moving car, where she sat next to her husband, Dave Franco, between press appearances for their new film. “It’s been great,” she added with a smile. When I asked them if they’d rather use the Zoom sound, Franco affirms, “It’s great to see,” switching phones as the sirens fade.

The couple’s warm greeting if chaotic will suit right away Somebody I used to know, an evolving, somewhat powerful refresh of the rom-com debuts on Prime Video today. Brie plays Ally, a reality TV show producer who, after her show’s sudden cancellation, reconnects with the flames of her old hometown Sean (Jay Ellis). Their reunion is complicated by the small detail that Sean is getting married to punk-rock singer Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons) in just a few days.

If that sounds like the plot of My best friend’s wedding, it is more or less so. At one point, Cassidy even warned Ally not to pull a Julia Roberts. But this movie is less about the person who left and more about how a person becomes disconnected from who they were before.

Franco directs the film from a script he and Brie wrote in the early days of the pandemic. “People are looking at their lives, and it’s a pivotal moment to reckon with, sitting around stuck in our homes, thinking, Did I make the right decision? Am I satisfied with where I ended up? Brie told Vanity Fair from a car is now relatively quiet. “We realized that we really To be happy and very lucky. Feeling really grateful, we just wanted to create something hopeful and give it back to the world.”

Franco, who also cast Brie in his 2020 horror directorial debut, says Rent, “Getting through this together has helped us show our true selves, because we just trust and can rely on each other through anything. So it really opened up for me and made me take risks that I probably wouldn’t have taken on my own.”

After nearly six years of marriage, “It’s a nice reminder that the right person for you is the one who will let you be who you really are,” added Brie. “I definitely feel the same way about Dave—even more so after making this movie.”

Vanity Fair: What a typical day looks like when you’re writing Somebody I used to know?

Alison Brie: I think we’ll wake up, exercise, have breakfast—

Dave Franco: Put on…

Brie: Fit-

France: Palo Alto sweatshirt.

Brie: After that, we usually go to the living room. We both started using our computers, and after an hour it was almost exclusively Dave typing. I got up and walked around the room. Dave is asking, “How would you say this?” I was discussing dialogue, which worked well because we knew that I was going to be playing the main character.

France: Basically, I would ask her to improvise for the moment, and then we would go back and forth and I would write down her exact words. That’s one of the benefits of being an actor trying to write.

The two of you wrote the script early in the pandemic, around the time that Alison’s Netflix series, GLOW, was cancelled. In the film, Ally reels from the same professional frustration. Was that real-life event the inspiration?

France: That’s a good question [laughs].

Brie: It’s perhaps no coincidence that Ally’s show was brutally canceled between its third and fourth seasons. We filmed the first two episodes of LIGHT part four, that’s why we have a special urgency [to finish the script]. We were like, oh, we have these two weeks and then I’m going to go back to producing the show. I guess it just crept in.

France: But most of all, there have certainly been moments in our careers where we felt like we were holding on a little too tightly for fear that it would all be lost. You almost forget why you got into it in the first place. And what eventually happens is that you stop taking risks. That’s part of the reason I even got into directing. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but honestly, I’m scared. And after enough time, I just said, “Damn. This is what I want to do and I have to be honest with myself.”


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