[en] We demonstrate the possibility of engineering the optical properties of transition metal dichalcogenide heterobilayers when one of the constitutive layers has a Janus structure. We investigate different MoS2@Janus layer combinations using first-principles methods including excitons and exciton–phonon coupling. The direction of the intrinsic electric field from the Janus layer modifies the electronic band alignments and, consequently, the energy separation between dark interlayer exciton states and bright in-plane excitons. We find that in-plane lattice vibrations strongly couple the two states, so that exciton–phonon scattering may be a viable generation mechanism for interlayer excitons upon light absorption. In particular, in the case of MoS2@WSSe, the energy separation of the low-lying interlayer exciton from the in-plane exciton is resonant with the transverse optical phonon modes (40 meV). We thus identify this heterobilayer as a prime candidate for efficient generation of charge-separated electron–hole pairs.