While the brothers have similar tastes, their directing team works because of a key difference. ''He's kind of a maniac,'' Jay Duplass, 39, says of his little brother. ''He's hell-bent on making things. It's his therapy. He likes to move really, really fast. I question things more. I'm obsessed with detail and quality. We kind of function in a way where he's the gas and I'm the brakes. He's moving things forward at a high pace, and I'm slowing things down and saying, 'Wait, this isn't great yet. The magical thing that we need isn't here.'''
Mark Duplass also frequently collaborates with his actress-filmmaker wife, Katie Aselton. The couple met while working on short films in the early 2000s and costarred in The Puffy Chair as an unsure boyfriend and girlfriend admitted variations on themselves at that point. Duplass and Aselton married in 2006 and currently costar on FX's fantasy-football comedy series The League. When that show begins shooting its fourth season this summer, it will be his eighth major project of the year.
Aselton attributes her husband's onscreen appeal to his unpolished charm. ''He's really open and available and he doesn't posture,'' she says. ''He's super-accessible. Everybody thinks they have a chance with him, whether it's to be a buddy, or be a girlfriend or a wife.'' She adds quickly, ''FYI, they don't have a chance to be his girlfriend or wife.''
The couple, who already have a 4-year-old, recently welcomed their second daughter. (Count her as Duplass project No. 9 for 2012.) Duplass and Aselton also collaborated on this fall's indie psychological thriller Black Rock, about three women who encounter a deadly group of men during an island camping trip. Aselton directed and stars in it, and Duplass wrote the screenplay from her idea. In fact, the script's origin is emblematic of his demonic creative drive. After she proposed the concept during a Christmas trip to visit family in Maine, they took separate flights home. Duplass got stranded for a day due to a snow delay for a connecting flight, and arrived back in L.A. with a full screenplay. ''He makes good use of his time,'' Aselton says. ''While I might sit and watch reruns of Sex and the City on my iPad in an airport, he's writing a script.''
The Duplass brothers whose 2010 indie Cyrus, starring Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly, and Jonah Hill, was an art-house hit that grossed $7.5 million are also in demand as screenwriters, penning a remake of the 1978 Alan Alda--Ellen Burstyn adultery comedy Same Time, Next Year for producer Scott Rudin and adapting the sardonic drug-trafficking novel Mule for The Hangover director Todd Phillips.