I know Joss Whedon. I'm in New York for the Tribeca Film Festival promoting my movie about my dead cat. I have a dead cat in real life (well, I didn't keep him around, he's cremated somewhere, I'm not sure, this happened when I was younger) but i learned from the experience and his name was Clark, like Superman. In my latest film Murder of a Cat (https://www.facebook.com/whokilledmouser), I play the owner of a murdered cat and I'm not too effing happy about it.

I'm here at reddit HQ trying to play NBA Jam, if someone would just turn on the effing TV. Ask me anything in the meantime.


Comments: 196 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

AndySC244 karma

I love you. I actually don't have a question, but just came here to say that I have deep, deep man-love for you.

IamFranKranz39 karma

Wow. You have a sister?


Hi Fran, Thanks for doing this AMA! My question is: What would happen if Topher were to meet FitzSimmons from Agents of SHIELD, and how do you think he would take to them? Also, your pool martini (pooltini?) pic from Much Ado About Nothing is awesome, and is currently my wallpaper. So thanks for that, too :)

IamFranKranz47 karma

Best poster EVER.

Topher wouldn't like FitzSimmons. Let's be honest. He can do his job by himself, he doesn't need some freaky counterpart. When Topher imprinted himself in Victor, that never lasted very long. He's a one-man show. He would have no respect for FitzSimmons. And you can tell FitzSimmons that.

katherinedevir25 karma

I really want to see you in Agents of Shield!! :) Make it happen, Joss Whedon!

IamFranKranz49 karma

It will happen. We've talked about it. Granted we were at a bar and it was very vague but we talked about it.

dylofpickle26 karma

Hey, Fran. I'm a huge fan of yours. Dollhouse was great. Cabin in the Woods fucking killed it. And I can't say enough good things about Much Ado.

My question for you is what are your top 3 favorite movies of all time?

PS. I would put your character from Cabin in the Woods pretty high in the list of greatest stoner movie characters of all time. He is funny without being "the dumb one" and ends up being right about everything. Damn I love that movie.

IamFranKranz31 karma

Star Wars, Seven Samurai, 2001, Dr. Strangelove, and 2046. And Singing in the Rain.

That's three, right?

dylofpickle8 karma

That is a top notch list, sir. It's also quite alliterative which I dig.

IamFranKranz19 karma

Well, I also like Cabin in the Woods and Murder of a Cat. Performance-wise, I love Taxi Driver, Being There, and again, Dr. Strangelove. And Seven Samurai. My holy trinity of actors would be DeNiro, Peter Sellers, and Toshiro Mifune. With a little bit of Alec Guinness in there.

geoffrey4mile24 karma

Heh, I guess I thought of a second question: whose idea was it to have Topher live in the server room in the Dollhouse? Nobody on screen talks about it, yet it fits so, so very perfectly with the character.

edit: whose, who's, someday I'll get that right on the first pass...

IamFranKranz36 karma

I don't know. I want to say Joss but I actually think it was Jed. We always talked about seeing Topher out in the real world but eventually decided it would be great for his "home" to connect to the Dollhouse. That led to his "home" being what it was. Sad. I used to beg them for a cold opening of Topher shopping in the super market and passing Tahmoh's character in the frozen food section and being like "oh shit, there's the F.B.I. guy" and quietly scooting off.

celeritas36520 karma

First of all I just have to say Topher Brink is probably my favorite fictional character and your performance could not have been better. My question is, if you actually had a drawer of inappropriate starches what would be in it?

IamFranKranz22 karma

I eat way too much pasta. I have a pantry of inappropriate starches. I have dreams about them.
But seriously I went to rehab for snorting glucose so it was a pretty difficult scene for me. I'm glad you found it so funny though.

Dempspew16 karma

Hi Fran! On the commentary for Cabin in the Woods, Joss described you as being "ripped like the lord Jesus Christ". I was just wondering what your workout routine was?

IamFranKranz30 karma

Nights with Joss.

AntibioticOintment16 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! What happened to the telescope cup bong from cabin in the woods? I always wondered that.

IamFranKranz30 karma

Everyone asks this. Sadly, I don't know. I don't have it. I shot the scene where I'm smoking it the first day. And by the end of the shoot, I (believe it or not) had forgotten about it, I was so tired and concerned about other aspects of the movie. When I fought zombies with it, it was a rubber version of the real thing, it was not the real bong, so the actual real working bong had long since gone back to the props department. Sadly I forget the name of the props designer, but that genius is probably smoking out of it right now.

nigfutons14 karma

First off, you have been one of my favorite actors for years - as a budding neuroscientist, Topher is one of my all time favorite characters! So I'm wondering if you have any personal interest in the brain/neuroscience, or was that mostly in relation to the job? Also, just so you know, recent research has found a way to erase, edit and create new memories in rats..using light. It's eerily similar to Dollhouse, but it's in cruder stages than Topher's system. There's a TED talk on it if you're interested in learning more.

IamFranKranz21 karma

Uh yes! That's amazing! Sadly I'm an idiot so my interest in neuroscience is only my interest in neuroscience. It sounds rad though. That's really something about the rats. Damn rats. They get everything first. Do you have a link or more info re: TED talks.

Kknowsbest13 karma

What is the greatest advice ever given to you?

IamFranKranz46 karma

Oh boy, after I was fired from a job, Joss Whedon told me "things don't happen for a reason. Shit happens, and you roll with the punches." It was actually very inspiring and has been very helpful.

geoffrey4mile13 karma

Hello and thanks for doing an AMA!

One of my favorite scenes in all of Dollhouse is during the first post-apocalyptic episode, in which Topher re-re-realizes that his actions have essentially ended the world. ("Why didn't I think of that?" creepy-ass pause "Did I think of that?")

What kind of headspace did you have to be in to nail that scene so well? What sort of mental gymnastics did you, as an actor, have to perform to become the Broken Topher With Crap Memory? Sort of a vague question, I know, sorry for the stumbling phrasing.

As it is, my gf and I found that we became more interested in "supporting" characters like Victor, Sierra, Adelle, and the moral evolution of Topher, far more than the nominal main characters. Was an awesome job!

IamFranKranz21 karma

I played King Lear in High School. Crazy I know but what are you going to do say No? In Act Four Scene Six (best scene in all of theater) Lear has a lot of moments like this. Madness and lucidity. He just kind of goes in and out and it's heartbreaking. The world of the play at that point is so upside down and seemingly apocalyptic that it was my first thought when doing the mad scene with Topher. When Lear comes to recognizing Gloucester it's so heartbreaking. It was in the writing for the Topher scene already but it made me think of Lear. So sad to have your own rambling madness stopped by true guilt and the strength of that.

meerca12 karma

Which device from the Cabin in the Woods would you, Fran, have activated if you were in that situation? And which one do you think would Topher choose?

IamFranKranz25 karma

Considering we spent so much time in that basement set you'd think I'd remember more things in there. But I would definitely play with conch. I played with sea shells a lot as a kid at my grandmothers house. We could have had the Merman! I loved the creepy ball but Chris was holding that and he's big so I defer to him. I think Topher would have taken the ball from Chris though because he's cocky that way and then said "spherical rubix cube, sweet!" And then solved it. But then Fornicus would show up.

Chillocks12 karma

In Cabin in the Woods you say, "we are not who we are". That was an intentional X-Files nod, right?

IamFranKranz14 karma

Uh oh. I'm embarrassed to say I have no idea. I know David Duchovny though… I always thought it was his premonition that something was wrong. He couldn't put his finger on it but his friends were behaving abnormally.
But maybe it was the episode "Folie Adeux." (Victoria at Reddit just told me that)

IamFranKranz21 karma

Ice! The episode is Ice! Her bad. Bad Victoria, bad!

zefareu12 karma

What's your favorite sandwich?

IamFranKranz29 karma

This is deeply ironic, since I am eating a sandwich right now.

While this sandwich is good, from Soho Park in NYC, it's not my favorite sandwich. This is the best question anyone's ever asked me. There's a place in Venice Beach called Zelda's, or Zelda's cafe, or just Zelda's, I don't know. They had a meatloaf sandwich that was so good that I asked them to make it permanent on their menu. Then I went off to film Cabin in the Woods for 5 months, and when I came back, they said they'd stopped selling it forever because no one bought it and it was a real loss for them. They handed me the sign from the cooler / display case and said "keep this."

It was not a friendly or warm moment. I think they resented me for hurting their business. But I swear this was the best sandwich I ever had.

chameleon1011 karma

Hey! waves

I just wanted to say that I loved you as Topher in Dollhouse, and nearly lost it when I realized you were Marty in The Cabin in the Woods (which I also thoroughly enjoyed). I guess my question is which roll did you enjoy more, and why? OR if you don't want to choose, what did you enjoy most about each character?

IamFranKranz15 karma

They both are amazing aren't they? Mary was a gift. He's just kind of perfect. The friend you want or need. But I have to say Topher's arc is special. It's tragic and is provocative. When we started I had no idea I would be so lucky to take the character on such a dramatic and dynamic journey. But Marty kicks ass. Tough question.

alice_hyde11 karma

Would you like to Joss directed the spin-off of DollHouse?

IamFranKranz13 karma

Yes, I wouldn't have anyone else do it.

nikto12310 karma

When will you be working with Whedon again? Also, was it real weed?

IamFranKranz28 karma

No. But it was something weird. I had to take pot smoking lessons. As if I needed to. But I would spend hours playing with different pipes and bongs and rolling joints and they would send me home with all the stuff. The hotel maid must have been terrified.

goodbyestarprince10 karma

Hello, Fran! I've heard you're a big fan of the Legend of Zelda. Which game is your favourite? If a movie adaptation was to be made (either based off one of the games or an entirely new adventure), would you want to be involved with it--even if you weren't playing Link?

IamFranKranz17 karma

That's why my avatar is Link. I'm just dying to be in that movie. It's not subtle. Please God someone make that movie. I'm 32. It's not going to work very much longer if it even works now.
I like A Link to the Past. I played it right before I left for college (cool I know) and I cried. It was like my youth was over. Than I went to college and realized I was still a giant child. I'd like to see some kind of Ocarina of Time adaptation. That way there's an old Link. Older. Not old cause I'm not that old.

michaeldhm10 karma

Fran, you were fantastic in Death of a Salesman! The whole production was stellar. A few related questions...

  1. What theatrical part would you love to play now?
  2. What theatrical part would you love to play in 30 years?
  3. What were your favorite moments working with Philip Seymour Hoffman?

Thanks for your time!

IamFranKranz18 karma

Thanks! That was the best job ever. So sad about Phil. He inspired me so much. I miss those guys terribly. Thanks for coming. 1. Edgar in King Lear I think is the best. I'm dying to do that. Edmund in Long Days Journey is a dream role too. We will see. 2. Joss Whedon will write a part in 25 years that will take 5 years to develop and the we will both win Academy Awards. Honestly I don't know. That's so tough.
3. He told me to do "esteem-able acts." That was something I thought about every day before he died so it's on my mind a lot. He was so passionate it seemed to bother him. I used to joke that he didn't like acting. He's made me take my work and the work we all do more seriously.

Pacmantis10 karma

Have you ever watched the trailer for your movie Wieners? At one point it goes sort of like this:

Kenan Thompson from SNL Zachary Levi from TV's Chuck Fran Kranz (long pause) and Jenny McCarthy

the long pause after your name in that trailer makes me laugh super hard, so thanks for that.

IamFranKranz23 karma

I asked for that pause. I also filmed Wieners so I didn't need to see the trailer.

librarysteg10 karma

How are your dogs? Are they jealous you did a cat movie?

IamFranKranz22 karma

They have no idea. Idiots!

Sister_Winter9 karma

Hi, Fran! I am really looking forward to your new movie with Dichen, Lust For Love. When was it filmed and how was it reuniting with some Dollhouse crew? Also, loved you in Much Ado About Nothing.

IamFranKranz9 karma

It was a blast. We all still hang out a lot actually. We really became close. Perhaps because our job was in jeopardy all the time. But we really did become good friends so it wasn't out of the ordinary to hang out. Filming something was just a nice bonus. Thank re: Much Ado. That was the same thing. It was a blast. Never felt like work and we were very lucky to be a part of it. I still can't believe the life it had and success beyond our little home movie.

joecollar9 karma

Seeing as you're one of the actors that Joss casts most frequently, are there any plans for you to be involved in any of his future projects?

IamFranKranz31 karma

I not-so-subtly asked Joss to make a production of Hamlet in the Reconstruction South. I wanted the Britanick guys to be Rosencrantz & Guildenstern. He definitely liked the idea, but I'm not sure if you'll be seeing it in a theater near you.

TheKennyLane9 karma

Is it bad form to ask a second question while I'm waiting for you to answer my first one? Haha. This is literally my second time on Reddit ever. Um... what's the most ridiculous song on your personal playlist right now?

IamFranKranz16 karma

Cindy Lauper's "All through the Night." It comes on when I'm running and I just know I have another 3:52 left in me.

Leachpunk8 karma

Hey Fran, Loved you in Dollhouse and Cabin in the Woods. Didn't know you, Whedon and Co. did a version of "Much Ado About Nothing", ordered that today.

What was it like working on Dollhouse, did you know much about it before signing on? How much did you and Enver Gjokaj work together for him to nail your Topher character?

IamFranKranz23 karma

Well, I didn't know anything about it. I only got two scenes of Topher's. But it sounded really cool, so I auditioned for it, and then once I tested for it, I got the script, and then I was onboard 110%. I had never seen Joss' work, but I knew who he was, and meeting him in the room, I felt an immediate connection with him. As far as Enver and I, Enver filmed me reading his lines, and sent me on my way, and then he showed up on-set with a freaky good impression of me.

Boss_NOML8 karma

Can you talk about getting into Stanford with only a 2.5 GPA?

IamFranKranz16 karma

I got into Stanford! I applied as a joke and I got in! I'm freaking out!

That was my entire part. Actually the director Jake Kasden was pretty genius and after I did it really excited a couple of takes he said "try it actually freaked out." That's what's in the movie.

thefablemuncher8 karma

What were the biggest struggles you've encountered while attempting to make it as an actor?

IamFranKranz12 karma

I'm still struggling. I will always because I care and I'm insatiable. But I was very lucky to grow up in LA and go to High School with kid whose parents were in the industry and stuck their neck out for me. Producers etc. I want to do more theater and be seen as a dramatic actor also. Because of early comedic roles as slackers or stoners this is sometimes difficult and the theater community can be tough to break into if you did not come up through it.

Bellevert6 karma

Do you think that the legalization of marijuana will help with this stereotype?

Do you regret any roles you have taken because of this stereotype?

IamFranKranz7 karma

I think a stoner is a stoner is a stoner. If characters that smoke pot become more legitimate that's a different story but if they are portrayed as goofy or the fool of the film they will remain that way.
I don't think I regret any choices. But sometimes you take what you can get.

CrankMyBlueSax6 karma

Hi Fran, sorry to hear about your cat. What is your favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor? I was stuck on Cinnamon Buns, pretty intense I know, but am now leaning towards Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

IamFranKranz10 karma

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is right at the top. I like Cherry Garcia, I like anything with rainbow sprinkles on it, but I'm boring, and I'll get mint chocolate chunk or any variation of mint chip anywhere.

Bellevert6 karma

Hello! I was at AwesomeCon this weekend and my husband and I were talking about how we hope you will be a guest in the future!

Anywho, I really enjoyed you in both Dollhouse and Cabin the the Woods, however, I was blown away by your performance in Much Ado About Nothing. Do you feel that filming in such a short time frame contributed to your stellar performance?

Also, please come to AwesomeCon!!!!!!

Edit: I typed too fast...

IamFranKranz8 karma

Where is AwesomeCon? I'll just throw that out there.

And yeah, in a weird way, the short shoot required us not to over think anything. And Joss wanted it to be thrown away and casual and most of all natural, and when you don't have time to rehearse and make things too precious, that's what happens. So it was a blessing in disguise.

Bellevert6 karma

Washington D.C.

Are there any other movies like this in the works? The movie really had great chemistry in the cast and seemed very easy despite the older dialect. I love that Joss is creating movies and distributing them on his own.

Thank you so much!

IamFranKranz9 karma

I live in McLean VA for seven years. Love DC. Tell AwesoneCon to invite me. Would love to come. Yes Joss is the greatest blah blah blah

katherinedevir6 karma

Salute Fran, I loved you in Dollhouse and think you're a fantastic actor, here's a silly question, are you a ticklish guy? If yes, where? Kiss from France!!

IamFranKranz16 karma

Kiss you back. Your style. I am ticklish. I think anywhere depending on who you are. If you're a creepy old man I'm ticklish anywhere so get your effing hands off me. Definitely on my sides though. My sides are really silly.

librarysteg5 karma

Hi Fran! I drove a million hours to see you in The Bachelorette a few years ago...one of the best experiences ever! What song/album are you listening to on repeat right now?

IamFranKranz8 karma

Thank you for coming to The Bachelorette, that was one of my favorite jobs ever.

I just did a concert where I did the narration to David Byrne's Knee Plays from Robert Wilson's Civil Wars. And at the same concert, an organist played Mad Rush by Phillip Glass and it was amazing, and I've been listening to that while I run sometimes.

Corabal5 karma

I know you from Cabin in the Woods, welcome!

What was your favourite beast from Cabin in the Woods and what beast would you have liked to have added to a room?

IamFranKranz19 karma

I would like to have added a Dragon. An actual Dragon, not the DragonBat, like Fafner from The Ring.

Kevin? And the Merman? And the Unicorn. I got a Unicorn, though, so. A real flesh & blood one.

noahlt6 karma

Are you a Ring Cycle fan?

IamFranKranz10 karma

Yes. Big fan.

faux-ami3 karma

Houston Grand Opera just started its first Ring Cycle, and it's my very first. I'm not disappointed. Rhine Maidens in their own floating aquariums, giants in Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robot suits, and Erda shows up at the end, dressed like the hive queen from Alien to be all "doom on you!" to Wotan. It was pretty awesome. Oh, and Valhalla was composed of supers, who were suspended Cirque du Soileil style from the ceiling. O_O

IamFranKranz7 karma

That sounds pretty sweet. Yeah say what you want about Wagner but purely as an artist he sets a great example and is a big inspiration. He's like the godfather of movies.

stuckunderwheels5 karma

Hi Fran! I just wanted to say you're awesome! I love your characters in everything from Dollhouse to Cabin in the Woods to Lust for Love. How is working with Joss Whedon? Is he just as much of a genius as all of us fans think? Do you wish Dollhouse wasn't cancelled? And how was making Lust for Love? Are you going to be working with Anton King again?

IamFranKranz10 karma

Yes he is. He's so cool and hangs out and loves to have fun with his cast and crew. He's very warm and very fun. But he is brilliant and he is a genius and he is so progressive and I have so so so much respect for him that I will always feel like an employee with the fear of God and desire to do my best work for him. He's deserves that. He commands it without doing so. Yes I was sad Dollhouse was cancelled. Or I wish it wasn't. Who do you think I am? Lust for Love was a blast. It was just friends hanging out and I hope you feel that fun when you watch the movie. I'd love to work with Anton again. He's a very creative inspired writer and I'm sure there will be more coming from him.

alice_hyde4 karma

Hi Fran! I wanna ask you a few different questions. 1) Are you married? If so, when we will see Kranz Jr.? 2) What's your favorite serias? 3) What do you think about russia and russian people? Would you like to visit it? 4) Where are you living? In Hollywood? 5) You're right-handed or left-handed? Thanks for doing this AMA, it's really important for your fans:)

IamFranKranz14 karma

  1. No.
  2. I haven't seen any serias but I love Game of Thrones and Firefly.
  3. Love Russia and its people. Been to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Saw La Bayadere at the Marinski theater and cried.
  4. Venice Beach, kidding, I don't want you to know where I live.
  5. Left.
  6. Twelve

mattydeewilliams4 karma


IamFranKranz7 karma

I am partial to The Village twist. I do think it's the best because it's not just a clever twist. Think about why people would do that and then in a historical context it becomes really fascinating. It makes you think about the horrors of the 20th century and why people would desire the past and a return to peace. Why did they pick the date they did? Was it arbitrary? No. He's far to smart a writer. It's really interesting. It's right after the Civil War and a time when America had choices to make. Did we make the right ones? In the Village's case they can restart and make their own. I thought it was pretty deep. You're like "that movie sucked!"

ben56474 karma

I believe in equality. I have 2 questions: 1. What's your advice to fans who are going through bullying? 2. What's your opinion on gay marriage now that it's been a topic talked about a lot especially this year?

IamFranKranz15 karma

Well it's a little crazy to me gay marriage is a topic. I'm all for it and personal freedom and lifestyle. I'm a non judging party. As far as bullying I'm against that. Seriously though, I was bullied and I know the damage and pain it causes. I know there's more serious accounts of it and stories out there and maybe now more than ever with social media, but I want young people to remember that life should be long and should be so much more important than the painful moments of your youth. It's very hard but if you can see past the meanness and pettiness of your dumber peers you will be happy some day soon.

Maryssaraptor3 karma

Thank you for being so awesome! Dollhouse is one of my favorite shows largely because of Topher~ Was wondering what your favorite videogames are!

IamFranKranz13 karma

Final Fantasy 2 and 3 for SNES. Period.