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In Prime Video’s new romantic comedy Somebody I Used to Know, actor and filmmaker Dave Franco directs his leading lady — wife Alison Brie — through several nude scenes, including a full-frontal streaking sprint across a golf course alongside co-star Kiersey Clemons. Turns out the inspiration for the scene was none other than Brie herself, who co-wrote the script with her husband.
“That was an early addition to the storyline because I had a real penchant for streaking in my college years,” Brie told THR at the film’s Culver City premiere. “I kind of took a step away from that, but, in more recent years, I’ve gotten back into it.”
Just how recent are we talking? “She did it in the hotel right before we got here,” Franco admitted with a laugh. “She went up and down the hallway, and that’s a true story!” (He wasn’t lying, proof immediately below.)
Also factual: The film features a brief full frontal male nude scene. While presenting the film to the premiere audience, Franco praised Amazon executives for allowing them to make the movie they wanted to make — penis shots included. But they didn’t add nudity for the film simply for shock value.
Somebody I Used to Know casts Brie as Ally, a TV producer who suddenly finds herself unemployed when the reality TV show she had been shepherding is abruptly canceled by the network. To catch her breath and reconnect with her roots, Allie heads to her hometown to visit her mother only to bump into her old flame on the eve of his wedding. “[The nudity] became this perfect metaphor for Ally’s journey as she goes through the movie, essentially trying to find her way back to her essense, the most bare form of who she is as a person,” Brie explains to THR. “The nudity metaphor was just right there for us.”
As for how the husband and wife split up the screenwriting chores, Brie explains it best: “The hands-on process is pretty much like this: Dave’s at the computer while I pace the room, bouncing off the walls and trying to make dinner.” Franco interjects, “Then I ask her what she would say in this scenario and she starts improvising and acting it out. I write down every word that comes out of her mouth and we just kind of go back and forth in that way.”
The teamwork sounds inspired and Brie says their collaborations — they most recently partnered on Franco’s directorial debut The Rental — brought them even closer as a couple. “We’ve been together 11 years and to find a new way to connect [through film] in such a creative, artistic way has been really fulfilling. We’re always learning new things about the way the other works and I’m finding new things I love about him,” she says. “It sounds cheesy but every time we work together, I fall a little more in love with this guy.”
Franco returns the compliment: “Over the years, I’ve always known she was a great actress but when I was in a position where I was intently watching her for months at a time, I realized she’s one of the greatest. She makes my job very, very easy and she’s also an extremely great support system while we’re making these movies. As you can imagine, there are moments as a director when you spin out and doubt yourself. To have her there with me at the end of each night, it was invaluable.”
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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