Dave Franco has praised his wife Alison Brie for making his job directing The Rental “so easy” by nailing each scene the first time.
The Now You See Me star wrote the script to the indie horror with Joe Swanberg with the view to star in it. However, he eventually decided to make it his directorial debut and instantly thought of his wife for the role of Michelle and cast her alongside Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand, and Jeremy Allen White as two couples who rent an Airbnb and believe their host is spying on them.
In an interview with Insider, Franco praised the GLOW star for making his directing debut so straightforward.
"She's so talented and really made my job easy," he gushed. "She would nail it on the first take every time. I would go up to her and just say, 'Hey, we got that, do you want to move on or play around?' I think what makes her really special as an actor is her ability to balance heavy drama with moments of levity. Sometimes in the space of a single scene. It was just really impressive to watch her seamlessly navigate back and forth between conflicted emotions; it's not something many actors can do."
In the movie, the characters take MDMA, also known as Molly, on the first night at the rental, except Michelle, who ends up taking it on her own the second night. As part of their research for that scene, Franco and Brie took the drug together.
"She ended up taking a lot more than me because I was in the middle of trying to find a first AD (assistant director) for the film so I was stressed about that," he explained. "It was kind of like in the film, she ended up on her own island high by herself. I ended up filming her just to see if we could take away anything from it where she could study the video later to help inform her performance.”