Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blood Brother

My profile of Paul Dano went live yesterday at The Reeler. In it, I look at Dano the actor and how There Will Be Blood is certainly his break-out film.

That said, Paul and I discussed his earlier works a bit. STV and I went through roughly 10 drafts for the final product--believe me, more my fault than his. At one point, the article ran 3,000 words and that was before I even got into Little Miss Sunshine.

So, for the sake of needing original content here, excerpts from the transcript when I ask Paul about his other roles. Do note, I did take parts and use them in my final feature. To break the fourth wall completely, we spent a half hour discussing his various roles after talking about Blood and other little things.

On Taking Lives. What did appeal to you about that?
It’s just a nine or ten minute scene at the beginning of the film. And the thing that appealed to me about that was that I got to kill somebody. I never did that before. We were filming—I smash a kid’s head in with a rock after pushing him in front of a car—I had to hold a rock over this kid’s head and had to miss. It was pretty thrilling. I could have smashed his face in. Wow, that sounds pretty sick. I liked the scene, actually. It was a fun scene, a few days of work.

Let's go to the inverse about death. Talk about The King.
Yes, to be killed. Not as fun to act getting killed. The King was something I liked for a couple years and the script was shaving trouble getting made and finally made. Gael Garcia Bernal is a great guy,a great actor. So is William Hurt. I sort of liked that character. He was just so earnest, a sweet kid and young man of principle and do good and take care of his family. That was right around—the time it made sense to do a character like that, cause I had just done The Ballad of Jack and Rose.

Anyway, I feel like it has to something to do with wanting to try and do a couple of different things: kill a person, be a guy who’s very moralistic and religion. It was a small film, I don’t think a lot of people saw it. I can’t really be too objective about the movies I’ve been in, as far as having to watch yourself. I had a good time, I guess.

note: Personally, I read into the "Paul" character into a completely different way and told him so the first time we sat down to discuss the profile. To this day, I see The King's Paul as a precursor to Eli Sunday.


Okay. So, let's move onto your experience with Jack and Rose.
We filmed up in Prince Edward Island, Canada which is off Nova Scotia. They built this commune type thing. It was really like going to a summer camp, we were just there and really involved in what we were doing. I would say that was the first journey I took as an actor where I spent some serious time with the character. I’m not sure if it was working with people like Daniel and Katherine Keener who make you want to try and be as good as you can be, but I think it was shortly before that my passion for acting was growing. I finally, literally conscious ly made a decision sitting at my desk, I know I’m in college right now, but I’m going to be an actor.—I’m going to college for literature—
I just have to work hard to satisfy myself. That film wad big for me as a person because I did get to work with some people I really admired. That just feels good, really, simply. I would say it was a big experience for me, but it was definitely the first part I did where I was like really conscious about wanting to be an actor and be a good actor. It made the experience different. That was the first time where I had a lot of the character rub off into my life. I remember I cut my hair at the end of the film, I saw myself in the mirror for the first time, it was such a strange thing.

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