Best known for his roles in HBO's In Treatment and the 2012 blockbuster Chronicle, actor Dane DeHaan is making another splash in Lawless, a film about the infamous Bondurant brothers who led a bootlegging operation in Depression-era Virginia. Directed by John Hillcoat and featuring an all-star cast that includes Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman, Lawless has left the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival buzzing about Oscar nominations.

DeHaan proved to be just as interesting offscreen as he is onscreen reflecting on Lawless co-star Hardy with Uinterview at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. "I think that Tom is one of the most naturally gifted actors I’ve ever seen," he told Uinterview. "He can turn it on and off and, unbelievably, he can go from goofing around to being completely in character at the drop of a hat. And it’s just in him to have that — he just has a gift that’s really incredible."


Q: Lawless is set in the Prohibition Era, so it’s a distant time that you have no personal relationship to. How important is that when you’re doing a period film? - Uinterview

It’s not necessarily a time period I’m familiar with, but it’s also fun to learn about a new time period and figure out what was going on then and find the similarities and find the differences. That’s what makes the job fun.

Q: What did you respond to about the story in the script? - Uinterview

I really appreciate the script for how it honors the culture that we portray. I feel like a lot of times bootleggers or Southerners or whatever are kind of made into a cartoonish kind of thing, and so to see a human depiction of that time and those people was really refreshing.

Q: Given that the source material is so rich for this film, did you feel an obligation to go back to the source material for fodder for your characters? - Uinterview

I read the book. [My character] Cricket’s a bit different in the book. But what I did get out of the book was a lot of his physicalities. It talks about him squatting a lot in the book, which I never would’ve done otherwise — always, like, in a corner kind of crouched down.

Q: Tom Hardy tends to go quite method when he gets into character. Was he like that on this set? - Uinterview

First of all, I think the term ‘method’ is bastardized to a great extent in our job and our industry, and I think that it’s not really a term that anyone has a full grasp on what exactly it means. That being said, I think that Tom is one of the most naturally gifted actors I’ve ever seen. He can turn it on and off and, unbelievably, he can go from goofing around to being completely in character at the drop of a hat. And it’s just in him to have that — he just has a gift that’s really incredible.

Q: Do you goof around between takes or do you prefer to stay in character? - Uinterview

I certainly don’t make a conscious choice to stay in character, but I also find that, whenever I’m doing a film, it does affect the person I am. And I do end up taking the traits of the person I’m playing home with me. When I am on set, and depending on the intensity of the scene, it’s just all about finding what you need to do to achieve that scene. And sometimes that is staying in it in between takes and sometimes that’s goofing around between takes. There’s really no method to the madness.