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Paul Dano Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NamePaul Franklin Dano
Height 6' 0½" (1.84 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An actor for all seasons and all kinds of roles (from dark, difficult characters to more loving ones) Paul Dano has an extensive body work that includes working with directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Steve McQueen, Dayton & Ferris, Ang Lee, Denis Villenueve and Paolo Sorrentino; acting with heavyweights such as Harrison Ford, Daniel Day-Lewis, Alan Arkin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette, Michael Caine, Kevin Kline - just to mention a few names; and easily making a fine transition in between independent cinema, art-house films and mainstream Hollywood blockbusters.

Paul Franklin Dano was born on 19 June, 1984 in New York City. At an early age he was already appearing in community plays and by his early teens he got his first TV appearance on an episode of Smart Guy (1998). His first major role was as Howie Blitzer, a trouble teenager who gets involved with an older man, played by Brian Cox, in the controversial and acclaimed L.I.E. (2001). For the role, Dano was awarded an Independent Spirit Award in the Best Debut Performance category, along with some other awards from Indie cinema. From the on, he moved on to supporting roles in The Girl Next Door (2004), Taking Lives (2004), The King (2005), Fast Food Nation (2006) and The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005).

Dano's rise to stardom came in consecutive films that showcased his talents and made him an important name in the business: as Dwayne, a rebel teen who copes with his teen angst by refusing to speak to everyone in his family, only using of his cold expressions and a notepad in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), he was praised by critics and audiences, a role that earned him among other awards the Screen Actors Guild as Best Ensemble Cast. The following year, he appeared on a dual role as twin brothers Paul and Eli Sunday - the latter character, a devoted preacher, is more extensive and challenging than the mysterious Paul, in Paul Thomas Anderson critically acclaimed There Will Be Blood (2007). The role was given to Dano after a recommendation from Daniel Day-Lewis who had worked with the young actor in The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005) and found him a very talented and interesting role. Anderson followed Day-Lewis suggestion, and the result was another hit for Dano, who received several awards nominations, including for the Bafta as Best Supporting Actor.

After that, he went on with his career with Taking Woodstock (2009), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Ruby Sparks (2012) - in which he appears alongside his girlfriend Zoe Kazan, Looper (2012), as the tortured suspect in Prisoners (2013); the Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave (2013); as a young Method actor in Youth (2015); the freak comedy Swiss Army Man (2016); Okja (2017); and the miniseries War & Peace (2016) and Escape at Dannemora (2018), the latter being a role completely the opposite he ever played in previous years, as an inmate who escapes jail, a very physical work for him. In between those films and projects, he gained notoriety by playing the young Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy (2014), the Beach Boys leader who suffers a nervous breakdown while trying to compose an epic album. That role gave Paul Dano plenty of buzz during awards season, some deserved recognition and his first Golden Globe nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.

His career seems to always be going further each year goes by, always promising. He made his directorial debut in Wildlife (2018), which was co-written with Zoe Kazan. They're living together for a decade and have one daughter.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Rodrigo Amaro

Trade Mark (1)

Often plays characters who receive beatings

Trivia (11)

He and Billy Kay were already friends at the time L.I.E. (2001) was filmed, having worked together on an earlier film (The Newcomers (2000)).
Graduated from high school on June 22, 2002.
Lead guitar and vocals in the band Mook, based out of Wilton, Connecticut.
Daniel Day-Lewis was so impressed by his work in the film, The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005), that he suggested him to Paul Thomas Anderson for the role of "Paul Sunday" in the film, There Will Be Blood (2007).
Was ranked #5 on Entertainment Weekly's '30 Under 30' the actors list. (2008).
Paul's paternal grandparents, John Dano and Anna Herzo, were both from Slovak families that immigrated to Scranton, Pennsylvania. Paul's mother is of half Austrian (including Bohemian/Czech) and half Swedish descent.
As of 2014, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Little Miss Sunshine (2006), There Will Be Blood (2007) and 12 Years a Slave (2013). The latter won in the category.
In a long-term relationship with Zoe Kazan since 2007. They had a daughter together. They co-starred in Ruby Sparks (2012) (2012), which she wrote, and also co-wrote the screenplay for Wildlife (2018) (2018), which he directed.
Daughter Alma was born to Dano and his longtime partner Zoe Kazan in August 2018.
Packed on 20 lbs of muscle to play real-life convicted murderer and escapee David Sweat in the TV series Escape at Dannemora (2018).
Has a daughter, Alma Bay Dano (b. at the end of August 2018), with Zoe Kazan.

Personal Quotes (10)

[on why he chooses acting over music] "I think I'd be too stubborn and have to do it on my own terms. There's a lot of hope in music and there are some really amazing artists out there, but as far as popular music goes, a lot of it is just not for me. So I don't know where I'd fit in or whatever."
Everything you do, every experience that you have, enlightens you a little bit or worsens you. L.I.E. (2001) was big for me. I think it's one of the best things I've been a part of in my life, so far.
[on working with Daniel Day-Lewis in the movie, The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)] "It was incredible. I mean, Daniel Day-Lewis and I were enemies in the movie. I'm the "snake" and his daughter Rose is the "rose". You couldn't get any more opposite from the character I play in (The Girl Next Door (2004)) than the one I play in that. I'm the villain, the snake, sleazy and like this sexual creature. There were days when we wouldn't even look at each other until the end of the day because we were intense. I got into that; it was great. It would help me, too. You know, I look up to him. Before I even auditioned for the movie I did, so it was incredible.
[on preparing for his role in Little Miss Sunshine (2006)] "In my house, I tried not talking for a couple days and it was almost impossible to be at a dinner table with my parents and not point out to them what I thought was silly that they were saying. You just want to rebel! It was so difficult".
[on working with Steve Carell] "I knew Steve from The Daily Show (1996) and that funny scene he had in Bruce Almighty (2003). I didn't maybe know him by name at that point, but I was just like, "That dude is hilarious!". He's genuinely a very down-to-earth, sweet guy. I have a lot of respect for him. We became good friends. Nobody was really on a pedestal or anything. When you're working with people you look up to and they put you on the same level, it makes your job a little easier, confidence-wise. I never felt nervous, it was just a lot of fun".
Cereal. I love cereal. I eat several bowls a day, mostly a few late at night. Crispix, Honey Nut Cheerios, Kashi, and Oh's are a few favorites.
(On if he watches his own films) Yeah, I like to see things once just to have closure. Anything beyond that, I don't know. It's probably not a good thing. Then I start to pick away at myself, you know? Maybe there's something you can learn from it, but I kind of like to see things once, just to know what the movie is. I feel like a lot of the films I do, part of the reason I like doing them is I'm not 100 percent sure what it's going to be. It's exciting. I read an equal amount of very generic scripts, and you kind of know exactly what those are and that doesn't whet my appetite. I already know what it is or I already know what the character is. It's just a lot harder to get interested.
Taking Woodstock (2009), which is a small part, was basically just to spend a couple days on set with Ang Lee, who I admire a lot, just because I feel like he's doing something different, every time out. I feel like he hasn't lost the hunger to try new things. I really admire that and would like to, as an actor, be that way. I'd also want to make a film someday, so getting a chance to work with directors who I like is really important, because I definitely want to make a film or two.
When you play a part like that, so far from yourself, it's a turn-on. There's this mystery to be solved. That's my biggest challenge as an actor, figuring out what brought this person to where we meet them.
I want to get better and I want to do more. It's less about stardom and more about being somebody who wants to help create work I want to see.

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