Last week I had the chance to exclusively talk with Dave Franco about Ken Scott’s (Delivery Man) new comedy “Unfinished Business.”
The film follows a hard-working small business owner (Vince Vaughn) and his two associates (Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco) who travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable – and unimaginable – way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit.
Here is what he said about the upcoming film and two upcoming sequels “Now You See Me 2″ and “Neighbors 2.”
What is it with you and comedy films? Is that your favorite genre?
Dave Franco: I guess I’ve done primarily comedies up until this point. I have a good time doing them just because, on most of the comedies I’ve worked on, they’ve been heavily improvised. And so essentially I’m just coming to set with a bunch of really funny people and we’re just trying to make each other laugh every day. So it ends up being a lot of fun.
For those who haven’t seen ‘Unfinished Business’, can you elaborate on your character and who you play?
Dave Franco: Yeah. So the movie is about a small business comprised of three guys. And they take a trip to Berlin to close a huge deal they’ve been working on through the year. And one they get there they realize that their biggest competitor is also fighting for the same deal. And so everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. And they find themselves amongst some crazy situations throughout Berlin. Some of which are a giant sexual fetish event. And the Berlin marathon. And what else? What else? What else do they experience? Oh, and Oktoberfest.
A lot of drinking.
Speaking of overseas, how much was this actually filmed in Berlin?
Franco: We filmed two months in Berlin and a month in Boston.
How was working with Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkinson?
Franco: It was incredible. I’ve admired both of them for a long time. So it was really rewarding to be able to work with them and just learn from their process. And with Vince, specifically, I was definitely a little intimidated at first just because I didn’t want to be the person in the scene to slow everything down. I didn’t want to be making bad jokes and looking like an idiot. But what I quickly realized is that when you’re working with someone as funny as Vince he elevates everyone else in that scene. And he makes everyone else around him even better than they already are. So that was…that created a very safe environment. And then Tom Wilkinson is just…he is an absolute professional. And, you know, he’s a two-time Academy Award nominee. And I think people are going to be excited to see him in a different role in this movie where he’s taking bong hits and dancing with naked girls. And participating in pillow fights and much, much more.
Speaking about Tom Wilkinson, it seems like a lot of serious drama actors make awesome comedians.
Franco: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Tom…I completely agree with that you’re saying. And what I admire about Tom is that there were certain moments in the script that if performed the wrong way, these moments could very broad and over the top. But Tom, his brand of humor is just attacking a scene in a very real way. He assesses…or I’m sorry. He’s put in a very silly, crazy situation and he just plays it as straight and real as possible and a lot of the humor comes from that.
Were you able to improvise from the script?
Franco: Yeah. The script itself was extremely well written. And so we didn’t feel the need to improvise throughout the entire movie. But there were certain sense that we wanted to have fun with and just allow ourselves to be free and see what kind of moments came that were not scripted. And, again, when you’re working with Vince Vaughn he’s at his best when he can be loose and free and, you know, just kind of figure things out on the spot.
In the latest All Access Pass, Billy Kidd talked with actor Dave Franco about his upcoming film ‘Unfinished Business’. In the interview they also talked about working with Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkenson, how improv is handled in the framework of a movie, Dave’s portrayal antagonists, and working with his brother James.
In the interview Dave talked about his upcoming role as Mike Pancake in ‘Unfinished Business’. “The character is everything that you would expect from a name like that. He’s a little slow, but he’s also extremely sweet and naive and loyal and would kill for his friends,” Dave said. “It was nice to play a pure protagonist for once as opposed to some of the douche-ier roles I’ve played as of late.”
Vince Vaughn and Tom Wilkenson also star in ‘Unfinished Business’, and Dave spoke about working with them. “Vince is someone that I’ve looked up too for a long time. So to be able to work with him on a comedy. It was an invaluable experience,” Dave said.
“It was really special just being in these scenes with him, but also some what intimidating,” He added. “He’s such a smart funny guy that he really does elevate everyone around him.”
Dave then spoke about Tom Wilkenson, “Tom is just an absolute pro. He’s a tow time Academy Award nominee, but we get to see a different side of Tom in this movie.”
A comedy like ‘Unfinished Business’ has quite a bit of improvisation to it, and Dave spoke on how improve is handled in the framework of a film like this. “Typically you want to have the freedom to do whatever you want, but you do want it to be somewhat constrained.” Dave said.
Adding, “You want every improvisation to at leas serve the story or the characters in some way.”
With acting credits like ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Neighbors’, Dave has played several antagonists in his career. “It was fun to play that type of role at first, because it’s kind of liberating to play a role that’s completely outside of yourself,” Dave said. “I feel like Iv’e completely exhausted that role. There is nothing else I can bring to it that’s new. So I’ve been trying to make a conscious decision to branch out.”
Towards the end of the interview Billy asked about Dave’s brother James Franco, and whether the two we’re planning on working together. “He just directed me in something… It’s called ‘Zeroville’ and like I said he directed it. It was really fun working with him in that capacity, because he’s the most happy when he’s behind the camera,” Dave said.
“I would love to keep working with him,” He continued. “That being said the past five years or so, I really did make a conscious decision to distance myself from him work wise. Just because I wanted to pave my own path.”