Q&A: Alison Brie, Dave Franco talk writing a film together, give life advice

Mimi Calzada, Senior Life & Arts Reporter

Alison Brie and Dave Franco sat down with The Daily Texan to talk about their newest film, “Somebody I Used To Know.” The pair co-wrote the script, with Franco directing and Brie starring.

Daily Texan: This isn’t the first time you two have worked on a movie together, but it’s the first time you’ve written a movie together. What led to this collaboration?

Alison Brie: We’ve been building up to this. There was this nice trajectory of having been on set together first as actors and establishing that comfortability. Working on “The Rental” together with Dave directing me, I’ve never had a better experience on set. Dave had written that, and I had just written my first film, “Horse Girl,” and so we were getting involved in doing more on the other side of the camera. It felt like a no-brainer after that great experience.

DT: The three central characters all have significant arcs. Which of them do you think grew the most as a person by the end of the movie?

AB: It’s a toss-up between Ally and Sean. For most of the movie, Ally and Sean are unaware of how much they need to grow. They do a lot of blaming on the other person, which was intentional because we wanted to show a debunking of “the one that got away,” and this relationship amnesia that people sometimes have when they break up. A lot of people end a relationship and still feel love for that person, but a lot of times, there are reasons that you broke up. So, Sean and Ally getting out of their own way is taking a beat to stop blaming things on each other as part of their journey.

DT: What lesson do you hope viewers take away from watching your movie?

Dave Franco: When you go to your hometown and are confronted with people you used to know, (you) start to remember who you were back then compared to who you are now. You reflect on, “Do I like who I am now?” If the answer is no, it’s not too late to get back on a path that leads you toward things that you love and make you happy. A lot of my friends have taken a step back and reevaluated a lot of things in their lives, whether that be romantic relationships, their jobs or where they’re living, and realized, “I’m not as happy as I thought I was, and I’m going to make a drastic change because it’s not too late.”

DT: Ally’s hair and wardrobe are different in the beginning of the movie compared to the end. What are her physical changes meant to signify?

AB: Ally’s hair, makeup and wardrobe journey was so specific. Ally’s story is about finding herself in this moment where she’s leaned in too many times to something that wasn’t true to who she is, and now she’s holding on to that thing so tightly even though she doesn’t have a real connection to it. She’s rocking the center part, and her hair is sleek. We have her wearing more makeup at the start of the movie, highlighting her desire to be taken seriously as a working professional. As the movie goes on, she’s getting clothes out of her high school wardrobe, she’s starting to show a little more skin, flipping her hair to the side, letting that natural wave come back, and we lightened the makeup a lot. It’s not about covering up and hiding who you are, it’s about opening up and discovering who you are.