Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood actor Paul Dano is gearing up for his edgiest role yet in another of his beloved indie films, For Ellen, about an aspiring rocker who struggles to regain custody and forge a relationship with a six-year-old daughter he barely knows. As lost twenty-something Joby Taylor, Dano gives himself over to the direction of So Yong Kim, acclaimed for her other drama of minimalist proportions Treeless Mountain. "So is very generous and trusting. I think she saw who Joby was. I had a lot of freedom, which I liked," Dano tells Uinterview exclusively [LINK], adding that "she wrote the script and I thought it was great, so a lot of the direction came from the writing. We had a really good collaboration. We're still good friends, so that's always good."

Dano, who co-stars with Jena Malone and Jon Heder, also discussed how he prepared for his character, which is notably darker than his previous roles. “This was one of my favorite characters that I've gotten to play. It was a real challenge for me,” Dano said. “Maybe it’s just about spending time with the script and the character, spending time with the type of music he listens to in that world, reading Tommy Lee's book and Slash's book. When you start wearing the clothes, painting your nails black and wearing a necklace, you start feeling different."

But perhaps his biggest adjustment was coping with a 104 degree fever during shoots, which Dano used creatively to assert his character. "I quickly tried to shift a couple of things around that made sense with not feeling well," Dano explained. "There's a sequence where my character’s at the bar and seems a little messed up, so that was a good scene to do then because, when you're that sick, you feel inebriated in a weird way. You don't feel like yourself, so that ended up working out."

Check out the full interview here to find out more details about Dano's upcoming film.


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