Jake Lacy Thinks Fran Is a 'Bit of an Outsider'

The actor shares his experience playing a character "attracted to chaos."

  • What drew you to audition for 'Girls'?

  • The project itself was something I wanted to be a part of for two reasons. I live in New York, it shoots in New York, I can ride my bike to work, I like the show -- all these very simple things added up to, "Yeah, I would love to do that job!" And then the creative aspect -- I think Fran's a good guy. I like that he's exploring the possibilities of trying to not be attracted to chaos but can't seem to walk away from it.

  • As a fan, what do you enjoy most about the show?

  • The characters just stand in their own way so continually. It's like a car wreck; you want to look away, but you just have to see if that head is still attached to the body. It's gruesome at times, the amount that these people wreck themselves. There's something fun about playing in that world, getting to be in that mess. Also, the way that Fran is written, he's a bit of an outsider. He's a guy who seemingly has gotten out of his own way -- or at least is trying to. In the first episode we see him, things start to go wrong for him and instead of thinking, "I'm going to stick this out," he's like, "Yeah, see you. I'm an adult man, I don't need to put up with this."
    He lasts longer at Mimi-Rose's art show than expected - even after his confrontation with Adam.

  • He lasts longer at Mimi-Rose's art show than expected - even after his confrontation with Adam.

  • I was a big fan of [actor] Adam [Driver's] before and then got to meet him. It was so lovely and so enjoyable, and then acting with him -- oh man. I think it's rare that you're in a scene with someone where you're like, "Oh shit, this guy's going to hit me. This dude might haul off in the middle of this scene and actually hit me." It's so exhilarating to act with someone like that.

  • Have you thought about how Fran and Hannah got from their last scene together at St. Justine's to their winter-time walk six months later?

  • I am really wary of creating my own sense of how they got together. I do think for the sake of storytelling, there has to be an element of both of them moving closer together. Hannah continues to become a bit more adult and take responsibility for things, and Fran has to loosen up a little bit. He's gotten to a point where he's practically retired at 28. You're like, "C'mon man, let's go out, let's go to the bar, let's get a little messy." He's fully domesticated and done with it before anything has happened, a protective mechanism. I get that way a little bit: Stay in, read, don't particularly go out. I have to remind myself, "Dude, you're 29. Let's go explore, let's go do stuff!"

  • What do you think attracted Fran to Hannah?

  • I imagine that Fran had decided that he was just going to say "yes" to things because he had created such a small world for himself. He hears that there's a new sub and is hoping it's going to be a young woman and not an elderly man. And it is -- she's a cute, weird girl and he's like, "F**k it, I'm going to ask her out." It starts out well so he gets rewarded for going all in, but then it immediately turns around on him and that's that. His theory, that going outside of his comfort zone will suck, is proven correct.

  • Fans seem delighted and conflicted by your character; they like Fran so they want to see more of him, but they also want him to run as far as he can from Hannah.

  • That's funny -- one minor character shows up, seems normal, and everyone's like, "Oh god no! Get out while you can!"

  • Where can fans find you after the finale?

  • Well, I have a small part on ?Billy & Billie' which is a Neil LaBute-created and directed show for DirectTV. There's a Todd Haynes movie, 'Carol,' with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. That's a period piece where I play Rooney's boyfriend. That'll come out in the fall, but will premiere at Cannes this summer. And then I just finished filming ?Love the Coopers,' which will come out mid-November. It's directed by Jesse Nelson and it's about the chaos that ensues from a big family coming together at the holidays. I'm just beyond amazed that this is my life