March 26, 2023

Contributor, PEOPLE
Dave Franco and Alison Brie have successfully married both their personal and professional lives.
The couple first met in 2011 while they were celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They got married in 2017, and have been collaborating on projects and supporting each other’s careers ever since.
In 2017, the power couple costarred in both The Little Hours and The Disaster Artist. Then, in 2020, Franco made his directorial debut with the horror film The Rental, starring Brie. Franco will direct his wife again in the romantic comedy they co-wrote together, Somebody I Used to Know, which will premiere on Amazon Prime sometime in 2023.
Not every Hollywood couple can live together and work together, but these two make it seem easy. “Within our household, it’s really fun because it’s inspiring … I think it’s just really fun to come into our own confidence at the same time and in these different ways of working, and that fuels each other,” Brie told PEOPLE in 2022. “And it’s a new way for us to connect with each other as well.”
From an awkward proposal to making it work on-screen and off, here is a complete timeline of Dave Franco and Alison Brie’s relationship.
Franco and Brie were introduced by mutual friends while celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans in early 2011.
Brie reflected on their first encounter during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. “It starts off in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, where all great love stories begin,” she joked. “I was there with some friends. It was some incredible matchmaking done by my friend Jules after we ran into Dave at the airport.”
She explained that her friend then invited Franco out to dinner with them: "He was sitting next to her across the table and… my friend texts me under the table and was like, 'You should hook up with Dave'… and I responded with, 'Yes, please' with a lot of thumbs up emojis. A very enthusiastic response."
Franco was equally as excited about the idea. "He was like, 'I'm in!' It was 48 hours of drugs, sex, a lot of making out," she said with a laugh.
After about three months of dating, Brie decided to throw Franco a surprise birthday party, not realizing that he hates surprises.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Franco explained that while the gesture was “very sweet,” the guest list got a little out of control. “If you know me, you know I’m a pretty private person, and I don’t like to be the center of attention, and so I freaked out,” he said, adding that he felt so anxious he decided to eat a “weed cookie.” Instead of calming him down, however, the cookie caused him to have his first panic attack.
Franco then asked Brie to get everyone to leave. "Alison and I still talk about how if we can survive my surprise party, we can survive anything," he joked.
Franco and Brie worked on their first professional project together two years after they started dating.
The duo starred in a Funny or Die skit about who Franco’s dream girl would be called. The skit has garnered over two million views on YouTube.
After about three years of dating, reps confirmed to PEOPLE that Franco and Brie had gotten engaged while on a trip to Big Sur, California.
During an interview with Larry King, Brie later said that the proposal had shocked her. When asked if she said yes right away, she admitted that she didn’t: “I was so shocked that I actually burst out laughing, and I asked him a number of times if he was being serious before saying yes,” she recalled.
Franco talked about his own memory of the awkward proposal during an episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden. He explained that when they first met at Mardi Gras, Brie had worn a silver mask throughout the weekend. She eventually left him the mask along with a note at the end of the trip, and Franco decided to incorporate both objects in his proposal.
Franco also knew Brie wanted to pick out her own ring, so he chose a "placeholder ring" from a vintage store that cost $10. "So, we go up to Big Sur, we're on the back patio, she's out overlooking the ocean," he said. "She turns around, I'm on one knee, I'm wearing the mask, I'm holding up the ring. And because it had been five years, she couldn't place the mask. She didn't know what it was."
He continued, "So, what she sees is me wearing this weird, stupid mask, holding up this janky stone ring … And so, the entire proposal is her saying, 'What is happening right now?' And it's me trying to explain how sweet it is that I kept the mask for five years."
Brie had nothing but good things to say about Franco during an interview with PEOPLE one month after their engagement.
"I have an incredible fiancé," she said. "He's so wonderful. He's just the sweetest man I know. And he's so funny and incredible in every way."
In an interview with the New York Post, Brie revealed that she hadn’t been interested in marriage before falling for Franco.
"I never wanted to get married," she said, explaining that her career makes it "hard to see people, hard to maintain commitments."
"I was just like, 'Well, that's not my life path, because I'm choosing this crazy lifestyle.' And then, you know, I fell in love," the actress said. "So, blah blah blah, amazing. Acting is fulfilling, but it's also not the only thing."
In March 2017, PEOPLE confirmed that Franco and Brie had officially tied the knot.
Franco told Entertainment Tonight that they kept things pretty private, saying, “It was great, it was really special. It was intimate, and it was really fun.”
Later, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Brie was asked what her favorite moment from the wedding was. “Probably our wedding vows,” she answered, adding, “because we wrote our own and didn’t know what the other person was going to say.”
She continued, "It's funny to hear them out loud and you feel like, 'We said all the same things that we want to be for each other.' That was very sweet."
The couple starred in their first movie together, The Little Hours, in 2017. In the film, which also stars Aubrey Plaza, Brie plays a sexually frustrated nun and Franco plays a man who arrives at the convent she is at.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the two were asked what they learned about each other while on set. Franco joked, “We learned that Alison should not be on set while I’m having sex scenes with other women.”
Brie responded, "I left for those. I did leave for those."
She added, "It was so wonderful to work together. So easy, so wonderful to work with someone that you're getting married to."
During an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Franco talked about his love for Brie (and his cats).
"I don't know how I became the quirky cat guy," he said. "At one point in my life I was the single guy with two 16-pound cats. It definitely weeds out a lot of potential dating partners. Alison loves them, thank God. She was really the only option [for marriage]."
Brie opened up about her marriage to Franco and how it has positively affected her life during an exclusive interview with PEOPLE.
"Something about being married made me feel so settled, almost more free, I guess, rather than like trapped," she said. "It's great. So now, let's go do whatever we want. Onward and upward."
Later that year, both actors appeared in The Disaster Artist, which Franco’s brother James Franco directed and starred in.
“It’s so nice to work with your person, to be on set with someone who is the person you feel the most comfortable with in the world,” Brie told HelloGiggles. “It’s a really great feeling, especially to be intimate with them on set or to have romantic or kissing scenes with that person.”
She added, "It's delightfully easy. He just makes a great point and he and I talk about this all the time. We do really love working with each other."
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Brie opened up about how she and Franco aren’t planning on starting a family, explaining that their cats, Harry and Arturo, are their “children.”
“It’s great because I don’t have to worry about when should I get pregnant–between seasons, while we’re shooting the show — I don’t think about it every day,” the actress said, referring to her hit Netflix show GLOW.
"It would be nice, but I think of all the things that would be so stressful," she continued. "I think about how much we're involved in our cats' lives. Oh my God, if it was a child!"
Brie also talked about what their "super-mellow" marriage is like. "We spend time together at night. We just like to hang out," she said. "Having a really supportive partner in my life and knowing that he loves me no matter what. I've found my person."
Franco and Brie walked the red carpet together at the 2019 Golden Globe awards, posing for photos and smiling for the camera. Franco also helped his wife avoid a wardrobe malfunction.
"She got her dress caught in the bush and I went in and took it out of the bush and then it became a big thing," he later said on the TODAY show. "I gotta look out for her."
He added, "She put a lot of work into hair and makeup, and that dress … We gotta make sure she's looking perfect. She looked beautiful that night."
In June 2020, Franco made his directorial debut with the horror film The Rental, which he also co-wrote. Naturally, he cast his wife in one of the starring roles.
While speaking with Moviemaker Magazine, Franco shared that he couldn’t have made the leap into behind-the-scenes work if it weren’t for Brie.
"We've acted together, and so we knew that we would get along well on a set, but we've obviously never worked together in this capacity," he said. "But what I will say is that I've always known that she's an amazing actress."
He added that there were days on set where he doubted himself, but Brie's support helped him work through his insecurities. "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," Franco said.
That same month, Brie told PEOPLE that watching Franco direct made her fall in love with him “all over again.”
"I enjoyed watching him work with everybody and seeing the crew fall in love with him because he was so collaborative and so passionate," she said. "His enthusiasm on set is infectious and it made me fall in love with him all over again."
Franco and Brie’s cats are a huge part of their lives, so the couple were devastated when one of them passed away in late June 2020.
“Said goodbye to this perfect angle today,” Brie wrote in an Instagram tribute. “Harry… Harold… Harrison… my sweet boy. My old man. You were quite a talker these last couple of years. Your favorite place was in my arms. And your tail was wagging till the very end. The sweetest cat that ever lived.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Franco and Brie quarantined together at home. The GLOW actress spoke to PEOPLE about the experience and said it made them “closer than ever.”
She also discussed the many hobbies she and Franco attempted to take up: "Dave and I went through the first couple months in party mode, thinking we're on vacation — let's drink wine, let's make a lot of pasta. And then we like, it's going on for longer, so let's go into culinary experimental mode where we're trying to make new dishes and things like that." She continued, "And then we got into health mode, and then we also were in creative mode, and we were doing a lot of writing together … So, I mean, I think we feel closer than ever."
The couple continued their professional partnership in 2021 when they announced they would be working together again on a romantic comedy titled Somebody I Used to Know, which they co-wrote during quarantine. Franco will be directing the upcoming film and Brie will star in it alongside Jay Ellis and Kiersey Clemons.
“Alison and I love romantic comedies and were inspired by the classics from the ’80s and ’90s,” Franco said in a statement. The film is set to premiere on Amazon Prime in 2023.
During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Brie revealed the key to her and Franco’s happy marriage.
"The first one is respect," she said. "I think we respect each other so much and we are so kind to one another. We really take care with the way we speak to one another on a daily basis and it makes a big difference I think."
She added that there "were no games" since the day they first met. "It was like, 'I really like you.' 'I really like you too.' And every day since then I'm like, 'God I'm in love with you.' 'I love you too.' There's something nice about that."
In 2022, it was Brie’s turn to try her hand at screenwriting. The actress co-wrote the comedy Spin Me Round with director Jeff Baena and also starred in the project. In an interview with PEOPLE, she credits Franco with inspiring her to get involved in the writing process.
"I think that was the impetus for any writing on my part was watching Dave write The Rental with Joe Swanberg and seeing his excitement as he was trying out this new endeavor every day," she explained.
Brie recalled her husband being "so empowered and electrified by the process" when he would come home after working on The Rental. She said that "empowered" her to explore an idea she had with Baena.
Brie later discussed with PEOPLE some of the steamy moments in her film and how she and Franco approach filming sex scenes.
"Dave and I usually do have some kind of conversation before any job, I think just to give the other person a heads up of sort of like, 'Oh, I have some romantic scenes in this movie,' " she said.
"You don't want to blindside anyone, I think, with that information," she continued. "But at the same time, it's a part of our job. It's a strange part and I can see how to the outside eye [it might come off]."
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