Why Alison Brie Falls in Love with Husband Dave Franco 'All Over Again' When They Work Together

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple co-wrote the new romantic comedy Somebody I Used to Know, starring Brie and directed by Franco. "He's astonishing," says Brie

Allison Brie Rollout
Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Watching her "incredible" husband Dave Franco at work gives Alison Brie a sense of pride, she says in the new issue of PEOPLE.

"He's astonishing," says Brie, who has collaborated with Franco a handful of times: They acted together in 2017's The Little Hours and The Disaster Artist and he directed her in the 2020 thriller The Rental.

During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, they also co-wrote the new romantic comedy Somebody I Used to Know, starring Brie and directed by Franco. When they finally were able to film it in 2021, Brie says it was a joy to see him behind the camera.

"I've always known that he is an incredibly kind, genuine, curious person, but seeing him in action as a director and the way that he collaborates with the crew, it makes me fall in love with him every time, all over again," she says. "I know it sounds so cheesy."

"He just really digs the collaboration element to filmmaking, and I think he brings out the best in everyone around him, and then lets them also do their thing and lets them shine and take ownership of every department," she continues. "And it becomes such a great vibe on set."

In the movie, Brie plays Ally, a big-city reality TV show producer who returns to her hometown in Washington where she runs into her ex-boyfriend Sean (Insecure's Jay Ellis). As she begins to feel a spark again, she learns he's engaged to be married to free-spirited Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons).

Though that premise may sound familiar, this is no retread of wholesome Hallmark fare. There's adult humor, pot-smoking, and a scene in which Brie's character streaks on a golf course. "We have fun playing with rom-com tropes and try to take them someplace unexpected," explains Brie.

She and Franco were inspired by a pre-pandemic trip home to visit her husband's family in his native Palo Alto, California. "That was when we birthed the idea. We sort of just tossed around ideas about being back in your hometown and also about the one that got away and people's amnesia when it comes to relationships and breakups and why those things happen," she says.

Then when the pandemic hit a few months later, they got to work. "We really hunkered down in the first two weeks," she says. They knocked out a draft, but it was, Brie admits, "s----y."

After many months, several rewrites and plenty of feedback from friends ("with everybody quarantining, they didn't have excuses why they couldn't read it," says Brie) the couple perfected the delightfully cheeky movie.

They are already in the middle of writing their next project together. "I'm really fulfilled by the work that I'm doing," she says. "I'm really happy in my marriage. This is a great moment in my life."

Somebody I Used to Know launches globally on Prime Feb. 10.

For more on Alison Brie, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE.

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