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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?
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...".
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 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.
Paul's Favourite Films
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.
More Paul Dano
- Paul Dano - Wikipedia
A great biography on Paul Dano
- Paul Dano - IMDB
A full filmography on Paul Dano
- Recent New York Times Article
Paul Dano, a former child actor who is now starring in the film “Gigantic,” wants his share of ordinary life.
- NPR Radio Interview
A NPR Fresh Air interview with Paul Dano about "There Will Be Blood" (2007).
- Paul Dano at Whos Dated Who
- Paul Franklin Dano Fansite
One of the original Paul Franklin Dano fansites. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated since 2004.