Dave Franco had hoped to tour film festivals with The Rental

Dave Franco had hoped to tour film festivals with his feature directorial debut The Rental before the Covid-19 pandemic ruined his plan.The Rental stars Franco’s wife Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White as two couples who ren…

Dave Franco had hoped to tour film festivals with his feature directorial debut The Rental before the Covid-19 pandemic ruined his plan.

The Rental stars Franco’s wife Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White as two couples who rent an oceanside Airbnb and discover the getaway’s host might be spying on them.

The Now You See Me actor had intended to submit the low-budget indie horror to a string of festivals to help generate buzz but the pandemic ruined the timing of the post-production process and led to many festivals being cancelled this year.

“With the timing of the edit and the pandemic happening, we actually never had the opportunity to even submit to any festivals,” Franco told IndieWire. “At first, I was a little disheartened by that because I had this idea in my head of doing a festival run and travelling all over the country with my wife. But actually we’re going to be playing in more theatres than we originally had planned.”

Although he didn’t get the festival premiere he’d hoped for, there has been a silver lining, as his movie isn’t competing against blockbusters, which have been postponed due the pandemic, so more people are likely to see it.

“Indie films are getting a little bit more of a spotlight, partially because we are not competing with these giant summer blockbusters, but also because people need new content,” he explained. “I look at recent indie films film like Palm Springs and Relic, and it feels like everyone’s talking about them. It’s nice that these really well-executed indie movies are getting the attention they deserve.”

Franco co-wrote the movie with indie favourite Joe Swanberg and was initially going to star instead of direct, but when he signed on to helm the feature, he decided against casting himself in it.

“When I did decide to direct it, I made a major choice to just focus on my responsibility behind the camera,” he explained.

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Dave Franco’s The Rental has successful box office opening weekend

Dave Franco’s new horror film The Rental has taken more than $420,800 (£328,900) at the box office over its opening weekend, a particularly strong turnover despite theatres remaining closed or operating at decreased capacity amid the coronavirus pande…

Dave Franco’s new horror film The Rental has taken more than $420,800 (£328,900) at the box office over its opening weekend, a particularly strong turnover despite theatres remaining closed or operating at decreased capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The film is Franco’s first time in the director’s seat, with the 35-year-old expressing gratitude to his producers for supporting him with the successful release.

“I have been truly fortunate to have a partner in IFC Films whose agility and creativity during this time has allowed us to have this incredible moment for our film,” Franco said in a statement reported by Deadline.

“As a first time filmmaker, I’m beyond grateful to the audiences who supported us this weekend,” he added.

The film stars Franco’s wife, Alison Brie, alongside Dan Stevens and Sheila Vand.

IFC Films EVP of Film Acquisitions and Production Arianna Bocco said the company signed the film in full awareness of effects COVID-19 would have on its reception.

“We acquired this movie when we already knew there was a shutdown, and when we pitched Dave (Franco), (producer) Teddy (Schwarzman) and everyone our plan, we weren’t going to let the virus control,” she asserted.

Explaining IFC: “Treated the film as we would with any other title, booking talent on Fallon and doing press,” Bocco noted publicity took some lateral thinking.

“We had the first pop-up premiere in LA, and we thought outside the box,” she said.

IFC was pleased with the success of The Rental’s debut, she concluded: “The one goal was to get as many people to see the movie and the result was best case scenario, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”

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Dave Franco couldn’t have made movie without wife Alison Brie

Dave Franco has thanked his wife Alison Brie for giving him the courage to make his directorial debut The Rental.The 35-year-old star heaped praise on the actress, who he married in 2017, after they teamed up for the new horror movie. Dave also co-wrot…

Dave Franco has thanked his wife Alison Brie for giving him the courage to make his directorial debut The Rental.

The 35-year-old star heaped praise on the actress, who he married in 2017, after they teamed up for the new horror movie.

Dave also co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Swanberg and insists he couldn’t have made the transition to director without the support of his spouse.

“There were moments throughout the shoot where I would really get into my own head and start to doubt myself in small ways,” he told Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins during a chat for MovieMaker magazine. “And so to be able to go home to her every night and have someone who would build me up and remind me that things were going well and that I was doing a good job – it was invaluable and I honestly don’t think I could have done this without her.”

Dave says that as well as being an incredible wife, Alison also impressed him with her performance as Michelle in The Rental.

The new thriller follows two couples who begin to suspect a home owner is spying on them when they rent a holiday property by the ocean.

“But I swear, watching her intently every day for five weeks, I realised that she might be the greatest actress on the planet and I’m not just saying that because she’s standing 10 feet away,” he revealed.

“She’s a really unique actor in the way that she’s able to balance heavy drama with moments of levity, sometimes within the space of a single scene… On top of her just being an incredible actress, it was so nice to have her there with me.”

The Rental, which also stars Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White, is released in theatres and available on-demand from 24 July.

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Dave Franco and Alison Brie wrote romantic comedy during lockdown

Dave Franco and wife Alison Brie wrote a new romantic comedy together during the coronavirus lockdown.The Now You See Me actor and GLOW star decided to reinvigorate the genre and wanted to see if they could recreate the magic of iconic movies such as W…

Dave Franco and wife Alison Brie wrote a new romantic comedy together during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Now You See Me actor and GLOW star decided to reinvigorate the genre and wanted to see if they could recreate the magic of iconic movies such as When Harry Met Sally… or Pretty Woman.

“It’s a genre that we both love, but when we looked at the landscape of rom-coms over the past decade, it feels like the bar is set really low,” Dave told Variety. “There’s a trend where rom-coms have an overly bright aesthetic and the concepts are really silly and the acting isn’t grounded.

“We looked back on classics like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman… When you look at those films, you remember how grounded they are and how great the acting is.”

And if their romantic comedy makes it to the big screen, Dave would love to direct Alison again, after making his directorial debut with The Rental, in which the actress stars alongside Dan Stevens and Sheila Vand.

“As a first-time director, there were moments where I would get in my head and start to doubt myself. It was invaluable to have her there to build me up when I needed to be, and to remind me that we were doing good work,” the 35-year-old said of the experience.

Dave and Alison have been married since 2017. They have also acted alongside each other in The Little Hours and The Disaster Artist.

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Alison Brie used to cry before red carpet events

Alison Brie used to break down in tears before Hollywood events because she thought she looked “so disgusting”. The GLOW actress suffers from body dysmorphia, a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their …

Alison Brie used to break down in tears before Hollywood events because she thought she looked “so disgusting”.

The GLOW actress suffers from body dysmorphia, a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance, and while she has a better handle on it these days, she recalled how it used to affect her before red carpet appearances in an interview with Women’s Health magazine.

“I go back to red carpet photos where I thought I looked so horrible, and there are some where I now think, ‘God, I looked beautiful,'” she admitted. “And I’ll remember: An hour before that I was in tears; I thought I was so disgusting. I think it’s something I’ll probably be working through my whole life. And depression too.”

The 37-year-old has found sticking to a healthy diet and working out six days a week helps her maintain a balanced mental state.

“When I’ve been in a really serious depression, I’ll drag myself to a yoga class – even if I don’t want to be around people – tears streaming down my face. But (I think), ‘Get in class, get out of your head, get blood flowing.’ It ends up helping eventually,” the star shared.

Alison also credits being able to talk to her actor husband Dave Franco about her feelings with helping her mental wellness, as he has given her perspective on her body dysmorphia battle.

“It’s been funny talking to him about it. He said, ‘Before I knew you, I’m not sure I believed body dysmorphia was a real thing. It’s so interesting to me what you see – and what I’m seeing when I’m looking at you – and the frank discussions we have about it,” she added.

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Alison Brie credits GLOW training for helping her overcome body dysmorphia

Alison Brie has credited her GLOW training for helping her to overcome her battle with body dysmorphia.The actress transformed her figure to play Ruth Wilder in Netflix’s comedy-drama series about the characters and gimmicks of the 1980s women’s profes…

Alison Brie has credited her GLOW training for helping her to overcome her battle with body dysmorphia.

The actress transformed her figure to play Ruth Wilder in Netflix’s comedy-drama series about the characters and gimmicks of the 1980s women’s professional wrestling circuit.

However, in a cover interview for the May 2020 issue of U.S. Women’s Health magazine, Alison shared how working alongside celebrity trainer Jason Walsh over all four seasons has greatly impacted her struggles with body dysmorphia, a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance.

“It helped with my relationship to my body times a million,” she shared. “Before, I always felt at odds with it; I wanted it to be something it wasn’t. But I didn’t have the tools to do that in a healthy way.”

For her gym sessions, Jason had Alison work on squats, lunges, presses, and lifts, and she was amazed by the way in which she quickly packed muscle onto her lithe figure.

“I like to lead the charge against people thinking that strength training makes women bulky. Jason uses my body as an example at the gym, because I can lift more than a lot of people. You can pack a lot of muscle into a lean little body,” the 37-year-old insisted.

Elsewhere in the chat, Alison also opened up about her diet in the lead-up to shooting GLOW, noting that she abides by a strict eating plan involving oatmeal, protein shakes, salad, and stir-fries.

“I used to feel more out of control with it,” she commented of her old diet. “Being more diligent has been helpful for me mentally.”

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Alison Brie’s new film inspired by grandmother’s mental illness

Alison Brie used her grandmother’s battle with schizophrenia and her own experience with depression for her new role in drama Horse Girl.The GLOW star, who also co-wrote the script with director Jeff Baena, revealed to Vulture that she had been looking…

Alison Brie used her grandmother’s battle with schizophrenia and her own experience with depression for her new role in drama Horse Girl.

The GLOW star, who also co-wrote the script with director Jeff Baena, revealed to Vulture that she had been looking to develop a story inspired by her family’s mental health struggles for years.

“My whole life I’ve wanted to make something about my mother and my grandmother,” she told. “My mother’s mother lived with paranoid schizophrenia, and my mother grew up in a really traumatic situation. And I grew up with the mythology of my grandmother’s mental illness, hearing a lot of stories about my mother’s childhood and how the mental illness affected her.

“How it trickled down, affected my aunt and uncle and their kids – also how it didn’t affect them. It had different effects on everybody,” the 37-year-old shared, adding that her mother would even joke that Brie would “make a movie” about it one day.

The actress was also influenced by her own experience with mental illness, which she called the “deepest bout of depression in my life”, while developing the thrilling psychological drama.

“In my own personal struggles with depression, I know the feeling of being helpless, feeling powerless, feeling alone,” she explained. “And then I realised, ‘OK, the movie I want to make is about this woman who has this history of mental illness, and what if something real started happening to her? What is something really wild, really scary, started happening and she didn’t have the ability to know whether it was real or not? If she didn’t have the ability to even trust herself or her own grip on reality?'”

Horse Girl, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will be released on Netflix on 7 February.

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Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza join Kristen Stewart in Happiest Season

Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza have been cast alongside Kristen Stewart in upcoming romantic comedy Happiest Season. In November 2018, it was announced that the Twilight actress had been cast in the comedy as Abby, a young woman who plans to propose to h…

Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza have been cast alongside Kristen Stewart in upcoming romantic comedy Happiest Season.

In November 2018, it was announced that the Twilight actress had been cast in the comedy as Abby, a young woman who plans to propose to her girlfriend Harper during her family’s annual holiday party, but then learns that her partner has yet come out to her conservative parents. Terminator: Dark Fate’s Mackenzie Davis was later attached to portray Harper.

Now, it has been revealed that they will be joined by GLOW star Brie, Ingrid Goes West’s Plaza, Saturday Night Live’s Ana Gasteyer, and Blockers star Sarayu Blue, as well as Schitt’s Creek creator and star Dan Levy, although it is not known what roles they will play. Step Brothers actress Mary Steenburgen and Titanic star Victor Garber will portray Harper’s conservative parents, according to editors at Variety.

Brie shared the news on Instagram with the caption, “Oh this is going to be fun…#happiestseason,” with heart and Christmas tree emojis, while Levy told his followers he was “very excited/proud to be a part of this movie”.

Actress Clea DuVall, who is known for films such as Girl, Interrupted, The Faculty, and Argo, will direct the project from a screenplay she co-wrote with Mary Holland. Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner are producing alongside Jonathan McCoy and Wyck Godfrey.

“In Happiest Season, Clea and Mary have come up with a brilliant twist on the Christmas comedy that is laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving,” Bowen told Variety in 2018. “It manages to be both timely and timeless in the best of ways and we think it’s a holiday classic in the making.”

Filming begins on the production in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week.

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Anne Hathaway dazzles in gold at 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards

Anne Hathaway made her red carpet return at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night.The Oscar-winning actress, who quietly welcomed her second child with husband Adam Shulman late last year, wowed the crowd in a gold sequin gown with a plunging…

Anne Hathaway made her red carpet return at the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night.

The Oscar-winning actress, who quietly welcomed her second child with husband Adam Shulman late last year, wowed the crowd in a gold sequin gown with a plunging neckline from Versace.

Anne teamed her outfit with Alexandre Birman high heels, Messika jewellery, and a Judith Leiber purse, and took to the stage during the ceremony to present the Best Actor prize to Joaquin Phoenix for his performance in Joker. She was also nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television for her role in Modern Love.

Taking to Instagram before the ceremony, Anne posted a mirror selfie in which she showed off her glittering outfit, along with the caption: “Welcome back xx.”

The post quickly racked up thousands of likes and comments, with Camila McConaughey writing, “Looooove!!!!” and Anne’s Ocean’s 8 co-star Mindy Kaling exclaiming, “ANNIE.”

Neither Anne nor Adam has confirmed the birth of their second child, a sibling for their three-year-old son Jonathan. However, the couple was spotted carrying a baby seat while out and about in Connecticut in mid-December.

Meanwhile, other stars to make a splash at the Critics’ Choice Awards included Zendaya, who turned heads in a hot pink Tom Ford ensemble and Christian Louboutin stilettos, Jennifer Lopez, who rocked a nude Georges Hobeika dress and Harry Winston bling, as well as Charlize Theron, who opted for a silver sequin Celine gown and blazer.

Shades of orange were a big trend on the night too, with Laura Dern sporting a tangerine Emilia Wickstead gown, Alison Brie choosing an orange Brandon Maxwell dress, and Rachel Brosnahan stepping out in a Carolina Herrera dress in a similar colour.

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Alison Brie and Dan Stevens to star in Dave Franco’s directorial debut

Alison Brie and Dan Stevens are to headline Dave Franco’s directorial debut.The Disaster Artist actor previously made a foray into directing with video short Dream Girl w/ Dave Franco & Alison Brie in 2013, with the project featuring his now-wife Aliso…

Alison Brie and Dan Stevens are to headline Dave Franco’s directorial debut.

The Disaster Artist actor previously made a foray into directing with video short Dream Girl w/ Dave Franco & Alison Brie in 2013, with the project featuring his now-wife Alison, who he wed in 2017, and Olivia Munn.

Now, Dave has confirmed that he is making horror-thriller The Rental in partnership with Black Bear Pictures, with shooting set to kick off in Oregon next month (Apr19).

The plot will follow two couples who rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend getaway, with the film also set to feature Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White.

“(I) couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Black Bear and to be working with such an amazing group of actors for my directorial debut,” Dave said in a statement to Deadline.

Alongside co-writing the script with Joe Swanberg, the 33-year-old will be producing the film under his Ramona Films banner, with Michael Heimler and Sean Durkin serving as executive producers.

And it appears that Alison is equally thrilled to be working with her husband in the film.

“Very excited to work with this new director…I hear he’s excellent,” she jokingly captioned a screenshot of Deadline’s article about The Rental on her Instagram page. “Thanks @deadline for spreading the good word! Feeling very proud and honoured to bring this man’s vision to life.”

Dave was most recently seen onscreen in films such as If Beale Street Could Talk and 6 Balloons, while Alison, 36, has been playing the lead character of Ruth Wilder in wrestling TV show GLOW. Dan, who is perhaps best known for his role in Downton Abbey, starred as the Beast in Disney’s live-action adaption of Beauty and the Beast in 2017.

A potential release date for The Rental has not yet been set.

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