By: Donna Freydkin
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.