Dave Franco

Dave Franco wasn't a jerk -- he was just really good at playing jerks. From his breakout roles on "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-2010) and in the popular remake of "21 Jump Street" (2012), as well as in his Funny or Die videos with "Superbad" co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse and brother James Franco, he specialized in snarky cool and sarcastic wit. These talents were also on display in his roles as a whipsmart teen on "Privileged" (The CW, 2008-09) and a Muppet-obsessed frat boy on "Greek" (ABC Family, 2007-2011). As he matured into a fully-grown character actor with films like "Now You See Me" (2013) and "The Little Hours" (2017), Franco didn't share his brother's sense of meta-theatricality, but his ambition and creativity were clearly a family trait. Born during a sunny California summer in 1985, Franco grew up the youngest of three brothers in a liberal family active in academic and artistic pursuits; his paternal grandmother Marjorie was a published author, and his mother Betsy was a writer and actress who encouraged her sons' creativity. Middle brother Tom went on to become a sculptor, while the eldest, James, became James Franco, Oscar-nominated actor, NYU professor and general creative oddball. In fact, it was James' manager who coerced Dave into taking a drama class at the University of Southern California, which led the college sophomore to switch gears from creative writing to acting. After making his debut on an episode of the long-running family drama "7th Heaven" (The CW, 1996-2007), Franco landed a small but memorable role in the breakout 2007 hit "Superbad," and was cast opposite Jerry O'Connell as a laidback bellhop in the quickly-cancelled sitcom "Do Not Disturb" (Fox, 2008). He portrayed Zach, a nerd with a romantic streak, on several episodes of the teen drama "Privileged" before landing a prime role in the final season of "Scrubs" as Cole Aaronson, a wealthy med student who buys his way into an internship at Sacred Heart Hospital. Though he was wary of being caught in his brother's ever-elongating shadow, Franco worked with James on several projects; in 2010 he directed and starred in a five-part video interview of the "127 Hours" (2010) star for Esquire, and the pair collaborated on several Funny or Die videos, including a satirical instructional series entitled "Acting with James Franco" (2009). That year also saw the end of the quirky medical sitcom "Scrubs" and the beginning of Franco's transition to Hollywood. His role as Zac Efron's best friend in the romantic drama "Charlie St. Cloud" (2010) kicked off a string of performances that highlighted his deft physicality and dry humor; chief among them were his obnoxious high school bully in "Fright Night" (2011) and his drug-dealer-with-daddy-issues in "21 Jump Street," starring Channing Tatum. After becoming zombie fodder in the undead romance "Warm Bodies" (2013), Franco signed on to play a bank-robbing magician in the star-studded caper "Now You See Me" (2013). Franco's next major role came in the box office hit "Neighbors" (2014), in which he played one of a group of frat boys who make life difficult for new parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. A massive success, it established Franco as his own man away from his older brother's coattails. Following a voice role in "The Lego Movie" (2014), Franco costarred with Vince Vaughn in the flop "Unfinished Business" (2015) before revisiting three of his key roles in "22 Jump Street" (2014), "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" (2016) and "Now You See Me 2" (2016). After starring in the social media thriller "Nerve" (2016), Franco changed courses to play a romantic lead in "The Little Hours" (2017), Jeff Baena's comedy based on a story in The Decameron about three nuns in a 14th century Italian convent. He next reteamed with his brother for "The Disaster Artist" (2017), a comedy-drama about the making of the notoriously awful film "The Room" (2003).