The eulogy is short and begins around 5pm.
“Say it like you mean it, man,” says Dave Franco.
The 27-year-old actor is peering around the bathroom door, wearing tortoiseshell Wayfarers and a stern face. We’re huddled over a toilet — memorialising a dead gecko. Franco’s stylist mumbles about “being taken too soon”, riffing on the life and times of the deceased, ruing unfortunate circumstances and so on.
The proceedings finish with a flush.
The accidental couch-squishing of our (former) reptilian companion was met with a chorus of “aaaws”. It was, to embrace some Southern Californian speak, a “gnarly” experience. The gecko’s eyeballs popped — a genuinely disheartening moment in an otherwise serene day in the Hollywood Hills.
Earlier that morning — happier times — you’d have heard little other than Franco’s laughing voice: punchy, begging-for-mercy chortles. Then, you’d see the by-product — a familiar, whole-face grin he shares with his famous brother.
That’s not to imply he’s a granite-jawed, doe-eyed facsimile. Sure, you know James for his permastoned Freaks and Geeks stare, a manic pursuit of academia and Spider-Man. But this Franco hits the gym every day, keeps his facial hair in order, and, at breakfast a few days later, substitutes bacon for chicken breast.
Rapidly coming into his own, Dave went from subversive Funny or Die website clips to a pitch-perfect performance as a trust-fund dipshit in the final season of Scrubs. Last year he was the (again dipshitty) foil to Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in the laugh-out-loud 21 Jump Street.
This Franco — gifted, equally gorgeous — is patently watchable. Case in point: Funny or Die’s ‘Go Fuck Yourself’ — in which he meets himself at a bar after a row with his girlfriend, goes on romantic dates with his double and finishes having sex with himself. It’s a wildly funny two minutes and five seconds.
Read the full story in GQ’s April 2013 issue.