Fran Kranz

Fran Kranz

While attending Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, Fran Kranz made his onscreen debut in a 1998 episode of "Frasier" and later appeared alongside real-life classmate Jake Gyllenhaal in the cult fantasy drama "Donnie Darko." An alum of improv and sketch-comedy troupes, he subsequently furthered his film career with appearances as various nerds, klutzes, and slackers in feature comedies such as "Orange County" and "Matchstick Men." After parodying his own young-star status as the exceedingly on-the-nose performer Zach Harper in the industry satire "The TV Set," Kranz earned his first starring role with "Welcome to the Captain," a single-camera sitcom about a blossoming writer's move into a legendary Hollywood apartment building. The ratings-challenged series came to a quick end when Kranz found the opportunity to work with celebrated writer-producer Joss Whedon on the sci-fi drama "Dollhouse." As Topher Brink, one of the series' central characters, Kranz explored the sort of complex themes of amorality, guilt, and redemption that his earlier roles didn't allow. The actor collaborated with Whedon again, along with director/co-writer Drew Goddard, on the comedic horror film "The Cabin in the Woods." Though the production was shot in 2009, it wasn't released until three years later, yet the inventive and witty movie still achieved commercial and critical success. Sticking with Whedon, Kranz also turned up in his low-budget version of the Shakespeare comedy "Much Ado About Nothing."