Imagine playing truth or dare, in an all-consuming quest to get more followers.
That's what goes down in "Nerve," out Wednesday. In the thriller, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, Emma Roberts and Dave Franco take part in an online challenge that has unforeseen consequences for its players. While what you see on the screen is heightened, the concept seems plausible enough -- if not now, than in the not-so distant future.
"When I read the script, it was such an original, cool idea. As much as it is about a game that doesn't exist, it feels real. Everyone is so obsessed with social media these days and getting more followers," says Roberts.
The story is full-throttle, something that appealed to Franco. He was "first attracted to the character. I've done primarily comedies until this point. This role was a little more serious. The directors have extremely good taste."Plus, the topic couldn't be more timely, as folks both famous and not question what and how much to share with the world. Roberts is on Instagram and Twitter, and says she uses both to indulge her love of fashion, and to promote her series "Scream Queens" and gauge fan reactions to episodes -- the second season returns Sept. 20 on Fox.
"I joined just for fun, not trying to get followers or trying to make a statement. More because my friends were doing it. It's kind of turned into something I didn't sign up for," says Roberts. "On Instagram, I don't really look at the comments anymore. I post and let it lie. I mostly follow friends, family and fashion inspiration accounts."
Franco, meanwhile, has no social presence. Any accounts are from fans, or they're created by imposters.
"I'm generally pretty private about my friends, my family, my personal life in general. And I'm scared of it. Everything that happens in this movie are things I think about. I don't want people to be horribly mean to me. I prefer to life in my own little bubble," he says.
The whole notion of fame, of being followed and scrutinized, is something Roberts is still grappling with. "The whole idea is interesting and that's why I like this movie. I don't really know where I stand on that, but it's an interesting conversation to have. Everyone in the movie has a different relationship with social media. It's interesting to see that," she says.
But she doesn't adjust her life to avoid areas where there might be photographers or press. "I try not to think about (it) and live my life as normally as possible. I just try to life my life. i'm still figuring it out," she says.
Same goes for Franco, who's engaged to Alison Brie. "I'm a pretty boring person in general. I'm a homebody and I don't go out that much. You won't typically find me in a place that has paparazzi," he says.
Emma Roberts through the years
Emma Roberts through the years
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Emma Roberts at the world premiere of "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" at Downtown Disney.
(Anaheim, CA) (Star Max via AP Images)
Actress Emma Roberts, winner of female star of tomorrow award, poses for photos at the ShoWest award ceremony in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Emma Roberts appears at Nickelodeon's 20th Annual Kid's Choice Awards Saturday , March 31, 2007 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Lisa Rose)
Emma Roberts arrives at the premiere of "Nancy Drew" in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actress Emma Roberts, star of the new movie "Nancy Drew" poses for a portrait, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Stefano Paltera)
** FILE ** Emma Roberts arrives at the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party in Los Angeles on in this Sept. 20, 2007, file photo. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
Actress Emma Roberts poses on the press line at the "6th Annual Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party" in Los Angeles on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Actress Emma Roberts attends the Juicy Couture Fifth Avenue flagship store opening party on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Actress Emma Roberts makes an appearance at FAO Schwarz toy store to promote the new film 'Hotel For Dogs' on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Actress Emma Roberts attends the premiere of "Lymelife" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
Actress Emma Roberts poses on the press line at the premiere of the feature film "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" in Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Emma Roberts arrives at the 22nd Annual Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 28, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Emma Roberts arrives at the Prada Book launch in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actress Emma Roberts attends a welcome dinner for The Sydney Theatre Company hosted by Roberta Armani at Armani / Ristorante on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Actress Emma Roberts poses for a portrait while promoting the film Twelve during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Friday, January 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri)
Emma Roberts arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday, March 7, 2010, in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
Emma Roberts from the film "Homework" poses for a portrait in the Fender Music Lodge during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (AP Photo/Victoria Will)
Emma Roberts arrives at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photos/Chris Pizzello)
Actress Emma Roberts arrives at a ELLE magazine's 17th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute in Beverly Hills, Calif., Monday, Oct. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Emma Roberts arrives at the World Premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, May 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actress Emma Roberts arrives at the 2011 Elton John Academy Award viewing party in West Hollywood, Calif. on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Actress Emma Roberts arrives at MIU MIU Presents Lucrecia Martel's "Muta" in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. "Muta" is a short film created by Martel for MIU MIU to feature their Fall 2011 and Noir sunglasses collection. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
American actress, model and singer Emma Roberts poses for a portrait on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)
Actress Emma Roberts arrives at the 2013 Elton John Oscar Party in West Hollywood, Calif. on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts attends the premiere of "Adult World" during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Actor Emma Roberts arrives at American Horror Story: Coven Premiere Event, on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision for FX/AP Images)
Actors, from left, Will Poulter, Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis attend the world premiere of "We're The Millers" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
From left, actors Taissa Farmiga and Emma Roberts attend the American Horror Story: Coven Premiere Event, on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision for FX/AP Images)
Emma Roberts arrives at the American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts attends the FOX after party for the 71st Annual Golden Globes award show on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision for FOX Broadcasting Company/AP Images)
Emma Roberts arrives at PALEYFEST 2014 - "American Horror Story: Coven" at the Kodak Theatre on Friday, March 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
James Franco and Emma Roberts seen at the Los Angeles Premiere of Tribeca Film's PALO ALTO, sponsored by Farfetch on Monday, May 5, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Tribeca Films/AP Images)
Evan Peters and Emma Roberts seen at the Twentieth Century Fox Global Premiere of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Saturday, May 10, 2014, in New York City. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Twentieth Century Fox/AP Images)
Photo by: DGRF/STAR MAX/IPx
Emma Roberts out and about.
(Los Angeles, CA)
Sarah Paulson, left, and Emma Roberts arrive at Entertainment Weekly's Annual Comic-Con Closing Night Celebration at the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for Entertainment Weekly/AP Images)
Actress Emma Roberts, right, and actress Jyoti Amge attend the after party for the premiere screening of "American Horror Story: Freak Show" at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images)
Emma Roberts seen at Premiere Screening Of "American Horror Story: Freak Show" - Arrivals at TCL Chinese Theatre on Sunday, October 5, 2014, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts poses in the Z100 Jingle Ball press room at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts arrives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating "China: Through the Looking Glass" on Monday, May 4, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts attends the eighth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park on Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Jersey City, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts, left, and Lea Michele, cast members on the television series "Scream Queens," pose together at the Fox/FX/10th Century Fox TV/Fox International Channels Comic-Con Party on Friday, July 10, 2015, in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts attends the 2015 Summer TCA - Fox All-Star Party at Soho House on Thursday, August 6, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
Emma Roberts participates in the "Scream Queens" panel at the Fox Television Critics Association Summer Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Lucy Hale and Emma Roberts arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Candie's/AP Images)