Paul Dano

© Copyright 2007 Justin Hollar
© Copyright 2007 Justin Hollar

Bursting into prominence with the critically acclaimed independent film L.I.E., Paul Franklin Dano cememented himself as a young actor willing to play controversial roles. Tackling the character of Howie Blitzer, a 15 year-old boy beginning to confront his sexuality, he secured the Best Debut Performance award at the 2002 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards and Best Male Actor at the 2001 Stockholm Film Festival.

Following on from L.I.E., Dano played a lead performance in a television movie and featured in the cast of a growing number of Hollywood flicks. In 2005 he reached new prominence with his role as Dwaye in the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine. Picked up by Fox's movie distribution arm the film poking fun at modern-day America reached audiences worldwide and helped catapult Paul Dano to an even greater level of celebrity.

His next big role to reaffirm his place as a "celebrity to watch" was in Paul Thomas Anderson's movie production of Upton Sinclair's book Oil! (1927), released as There Will Be Blood (2007). Paul Dano was originally cast in the smaller role of Paul Sunday, but impressed Anderson so much that two-weeks into the 60-day shoot Anderson re-cast the role of Eli Sunday and gave Paul Dano two roles, as both Sunday borthers - Paul and Eli. Paul Dano managed to secure his first BAFTA award nomination for Best Supporting Actor from his outstanding performances.

Recently, Dano has been working as a voice actor in the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are (2009), The Good Heart (2009) and The Extra Man (2010).

Which film do you think will be Paul's best work of 2008/09?

  • Explicit Ills (2008)
  • Gigantic (2008)
  • Talking Woodstock (2009)
  • The Good Heart (2009)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
See results without voting
Promotional photo for Gigantic (2008)
Promotional photo for Gigantic (2008)

Fast Facts

Full Name: Paul Franklin Dano

Birthdate: 19 June 1984 (24 years old)

Graduated high school: 22 June 2002 

Currently resides in: New York, NY, USA (when not popping over to Hollywood of course)

Relationship status: Taken (see below)

Paul Dano also appeared in the 2002 telemovie Too Young to Be a Dad, and has appeared twice on The Sopranos television show as Patrick Whalen.

Things Paul says he couldn't live without "coffee, movies, music, women, cereal, bacon...". 

Michael Appleton for The New York Times
Michael Appleton for The New York Times
© ContactMusic.com
© ContactMusic.com

Paul Dano's Girlfriend

Paul has been romantically linked to acrtress Zoe Kazan for some time, the inset photo is from January 2008, and in April 2009 she is described by The New York Times as Dano's girlfriend. "It was afternoon, but their day had just started; Ms. Kazan gathered the accessories of an indie couple’s typical lazy weekend — coffee, paper, a rented documentary about Koko the articulate gorilla — and left in a flurry, after a good-boyfriend kiss and delivering a reminder not to smoke. (Bad boyfriend: Mr. Dano ignored the advice.)" Click here to read the full New York Times article by Melena Ryzik.

Paul on the Nylon Guys May 2009 cover
Paul on the Nylon Guys May 2009 cover

Selective Filmography

L.I.E. (Unrated)
L.I.E. (Unrated)

Paul Dano's first breakthrough performance as 15 year-old Howie Blitzer. L.I.E.(2001) was groundbreaking in its head-on confrontation of pedophilia, sexuality and coming of age in modern America - although not as confrontational as Mysterious Skin (2004) - it's still a ground-breaking film with excellent acting from Paul Dano that saw him win the Best Male Actor award at the Stockholm Film Festival.

 
Mom at Sixteen/Too Young to Be a Dad
Mom at Sixteen/Too Young to Be a Dad

A very hard-to-find telemovie, Too Young to Be a Dad (2002), sees Paul play a role as an unexpected father - an honor role student who has to reconsider his life after his girlfriend is pregnant. The film follows how this impacts his family, studies and life.

 
The Ballad of Jack and Rose
The Ballad of Jack and Rose

Daniel Day-Lewis was so impressed by Paul's work in The Ballard 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.

 
Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine

The indie hit Little Miss Sunshine (2006) sees Paul Dano star alongside Steve Carell and Toni Collette. Paul plays Dwayne a Nietzche-idolising teen who has taken a vow of silence.

 
There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood

The 2008 adaption of Oil! showing American as the oil conglomerates are still being created and oil men roam the country in search of liquid gold - with little respect for the locals. Paul Dano plays the Sunday brothers - one of whom has left the family and informed an oil prospector of the oil reserves in his family's property and Eli who is the religious leader at the local church.

 

Paul's Favourite Films

A Man Escaped
A Man Escaped

Paul says: "A really amazing movie, it was really eye-opening for me, in terms of what a film-maker can do, not in terms of acting." A Man Escaped is a 1956 French film directed by Robert Bresson.

 
Raging Bull (2-disc Collector Set Special Edition)
Raging Bull (2-disc Collector Set Special Edition)

Paul describes this as a "staple" when he was young.

 
Taxi Driver (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Taxi Driver (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Paul describes this as a "staple" when he was young.

 
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Two-Disc Special Edition)
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Paul described this as one of the few good movies his parents owned, and Jack Nicolson was Paul's first favourite actor because of this movie.

 
Five Easy Pieces
Five Easy Pieces

Paul on Jack in Five Easy Pieces; "Still to date a performance that I admire, a lot."

 
Fight Club (single)
Fight Club (single)

Listed on Paul's MySpace as a favourite.

 
Moulin Rouge! (Widescreen Edition)
Moulin Rouge! (Widescreen Edition)

Listed on Paul's MySpace as a favourite.

 
American History X
American History X

Listed on Paul's MySpace as a favourite.

 

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Comments 2 comments

cloe 7 years ago

i love u paul franklin dano ur so hot i think u should leave ur girlfriend.

XOXOXOXOXO love u


pongogirl2 profile image

pongogirl2 5 years ago from California, USA

Never knew about this actor:) his career is so interesting.

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