Dave Franco Based His Hot-Shot 'Afterparty' Character on One Celebrity's Interviews

How did Dave Franco prepare to play the obnoxious pop star Xavier on Apple TV+'s genre-bending comedy The Afterparty? Why, by watching YouTube interviews of a similarly-inclined celebrity, of course. Franco revealed his character research method during the streamer's TCA presentation Friday but stopped short of naming his muse. 

"I probably shouldn't say who [because] he might take offense," Franco explained, adding that while Xavier has a lot going on internally, "on the surface he's a huge douche." Franco's co-stars, Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz and Ilana Glazer did try to press him on the star who inspired the "Imma Live Forever" artist, throwing out Justin Bieber and Drake as possibilities, but Franco wouldn't budge, joking instead that it was "one person in this Zoom, I'll just leave it at that."

With the show's finale approaching, fans are still trying to figure out the "who" in the "whodunnit." Glazer admitted that while reading the script for the first time, she had "no idea" who was the culprit, which she thinks came through in her performance. However, showrunner and creator Chris Miller did tease it's possible for fans to solve the mystery with the information given to them. "It is a fair-play mystery though," Miller said, explaining that someone did commit the murder and we have met that person. "There is no crazy [explanation like] 'a snake got him,'" he assured. 

Filming The Afterparty in so many different genres and POVs was a whole different challenge for the actors, who sometimes filmed the same scenes in different POVs at once. Barinholtz credits Miller with helping his actors shift in and out of those different moments without confusion by making everything "so clear and concise." 

"[Shifting the POV] was really at the end of the day about empathy for people and how we can see the world through our own myopic lens," Miller explained, "And if we just like take a moment to look at things through other people's point of view, we realize that they're more human and complicated and not just like a two-dimensional stereotype."

The show is more about fun than getting on its soapbox about main character syndrome, but it's "definitely" a theme that runs through, Miller clarified. Overall, the mystery came first when crafting The Afterparty, with the genres coming after and shaping the story as a secondary aspect. "It did keep evolving back and forth, but it started with the characters and the mystery first," he said, "and then the genres sort of built out who they were." The Afterparty is streaming now on Apple TV+