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Interview: Dave Franco (Now You See Me 2)

interview-dave-franco-now-you-see-me-2-1Q: How was it reuniting with the majority of the cast for Now You See Me 2

Dave Franco: It was incredible, we all genuinely love each other, and I laugh with this cast more than most people in my life. I would already love to come back and do as many installations of these movies as possible. Of course, it will depend on how well this film does at the box office to see if we will get another movie but I would be so sad if we didn’t come back.

Q: Asides from reuniting with the cast, what was it that made you want to revisit this character?

DF: It was more that I was attracted to the take on the second movie. When most people think of sequels, they think of bigger and crazier, and there are elements of that in this his movie regarding the movie being more global. We short part of it in London and in Macau in China. What I loved about this movie was that it felt different while retaining its essence. What I mean by that is that in the first one the Horsemen, the magicians, were always one step ahead of the audience. In this one, without wanting to give too much away, there is a twist where someone is playing a trick on the Horsemen. This time, we have our backs against the wall and are a little more human and exposed. You get to see a different side to the magicians and not just the confident on stage persona.

Q: The Now You See Me Movies stand out from a lot of mainstream cinema because it is based on an original concept, is that part of the appeal for you as an actor?

DF: Definitely, one of the main criteria for me as an actor these days when I chose a project is that the project is bringing something new to the table. Sometimes they don’t work out, but I appreciate the attempt. Most movies these days are comic book movies, and it is nice to feel like I am part of something that feels unique.

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Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with an ensemble cast?

DF: In this case, there weren’t many disadvantages because we all get along. There weren’t any egos, and we were giving each other lines. If I had a line that didn’t feel true to my character, I would give my line to say, Ruffalo, because it would serve the line better. The general atmosphere was about looking at the bigger picture and what best served the film.

Q: Was there a degree of flexibility as to where you wanted to take your character, Jack Wilder?

DF: Definitely, this is a big budget studio movie, but my hat is off to Jon Chu, who gave us a load of flexibility and bring our own personalities to these characters. I think that means that the characters are able to break out of the typical archetypes that you might expect.

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Q: You mentioned Jon Chu, how did you find working with him and how did it compare with making the first film?

DF:  I think Louis Leterrier, who directed the first one, and John Chu, who directed this one, both have their strengths. I loved working with both of them. What I can say about John Chu is that his films often have a lot of choreography and dancing, and he brought those elements to our movie in the big set pieces. There is a scene that takes place in a laboratory, and we are passing a card between the four of us and it felt like a choreographed dance which is his strong suit. John Chu really cared about the characters and what we learn about them in this movie in particular their backgrounds so that the audience is even more invested in the characters. In a film like this, there is often a lot of action sequences where there isn’t a lot of time for the audience to breath, but John Chu made sure that the audience got to know these characters. As an actor, it is important to me that you get to bring a rounded character to the audience.

Q: This time around there is a new addition to the Horseman in the form of Lizzy Caplan as Lulu. What do you think that she brought to the team?

DF: Lizzy is technically the new kid on this film, but she did not act like it from day one. I respect her so much. She came in with such confidence, and she brought a lot of humour to the film and stole ever scene that she is in. If I were in her position, I would have withdrawn into myself and been concerned about taking risks as an actor, whereas she was the opposite of that. I give her a lot of credited for what she did.

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Q: Lizzy is also the only female Illusionist and a member of the Four Horsemen, was it a bit of a boy’s club on set?

DF: Sure, and she held her own, she set the tone, and we had to keep up with her.

Q: Woody Harrelson is playing his original character from the first film and is also playing his twin brother. You have several scenes with double Harrelson, how did you find it?

DF: I love Woody Harrelson, so the more Woody, the better. He is one of these actors that can do no wrong in my book. He can be so believable in the most serious of dramas and at the same time can be so likeable and funny in comedies. What I enjoyed about working with him on this movie was that by being both characters he got to play his entire range. I don’t think anyone is going to be upset about double Woody Harrelson in a movie. It was a lot of fun to shoot. The guy who would stand in for Woody was extremely funny to work with.

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Q: What tricks did you have to learn on this movie to up your game from the first instalment of Now You See Me?

DF: My character throws a lot of cards in the first movie, and in this instalment, he throws a lot of cards, so I wanted to up the ante and learn to throw cards in new ways. I learned how to flip a card and propel it with my thumb and catch it in my mouth. It is a skill that I will never need again in my life, but it was fun to learn. I wanted to become as proficient in as many tricks as possible so that it gives me credibility as an actor playing one of the greatest magicians of all time. You believe it so much more when it is actually me doing the tricks rather than CGI.

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Q: You mentioned it before, but would you be up for returning for a third installment?

DF: The script would have to be in a good place, and I wouldn’t jump on the project for the sake of it. As with this film, I think that they will work and work on the script until all of us are satisfied. I can’t speak for all of us, but if there is a script that feels good enough and clever enough then we would all come back.

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