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Paul Dano

Acclaimed by many as one of the top actors of his generation, Paul Dano is preparing for He Loves Me, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' first film since Little Miss Sunshine. He Loves Me also stars Zoe Kazan, who wrote the screenplay. Earlier this year, Dano completed work on Paul Weitz's adaptation of Nick Flynn's memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, with Robert De Niro. The Focus Features release tells the story of a young writer (Dano) who takes a job at a homeless shelter and discovers his long-absent father (De Niro) searching for a bed. He also co-stars with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels in the time-travel thriller Looper, which recently sold to FilmDistrict at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the Endgame Entertainment production follows a group of killers who send bodies of their victims back in time.

In April 2010, Dano appeared in Kelly Reichardt's critically acclaimed period piece Meek's Cutoff (Oscilloscope Pictures), which follows a team of families who enlist mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them through the Cascade Mountains. In the forthcoming independent film For Ellen, Dano plays a struggling musician who embarks on an overnight journey to confront his former wife for custody of their child. Dano serves as executive producer and stars in the film, alongside Jon Heder.

Dano most recently appeared in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's The Extra Man, with Kevin Kline; Knight and Day, with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz; and Where the Wild Things Are (Warner Bros.), Spike Jonze's adaptation of the classic children's book by Maurice Sendak.

In 2007, Dano garnered a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, for There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!. He played the charismatic young preacher and nemesis to Day-Lewis' oil prospector.

In 2006, Dano starred with Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear in the Oscar-nominated box-office hit Little Miss Sunshine, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. His performance as an angst-ridden physical fitness/Nietzche devotee, who has taken a vow of silence, earned him the Broadcast Film Critics Association award for Best Young Actor and a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male. The ensemble earned Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics Association awards.

Dano won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance for his portrayal of a teenager forced to navigate his adolescence virtually unsupervised in Michael Cuesta's coming-of-age drama L.I.E. (2001). His additional film credits include The Good Heart, with L.I.E. co-star Brian Cox; Gigantic, opposite Zooey Deschanel; a cameo appearance in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock; Rebecca Miller's The Ballad of Jack and Rose, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener; Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation; D.J. Caruso's Taking Lives; The King, with Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal and William Hurt; Explicit Ills; and Weapons.

Growing up in Manhattan and Connecticut, Dano began his career on the New York stage with supporting roles on Broadway in Inherit the Wind, opposite George C. Scott and Charles Durning, and A Christmas Carol, with Ben Vereen and Terrence Mann. In 2007, he returned to the stage in The New Group's off-Broadway production of Things We Want, directed by Ethan Hawke and co-starring Peter Dinklage, Josh Hamilton and Zoe Kazan. Late last year, he co-starred with Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def in Lincoln Center Theater's Broadway production of A Free Man of Color, John Guare's freewheeling epic set in 1801 New Orleans. George C. Wolfe directed the play.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2011.
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Paul Dano Facts

Birth Name Paul Franklin Dano
BirthdayJune 19, 1984 (38)
BirthplaceWilton, Connecticut, USA
Height6' 1" (1m85)  How tall is Paul Dano compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Swiss Army Man
There Will Be Blood
Love & Mercy
12 Years a Slave
Little Miss Sunshine
The Undefeated
Where the Wild Things Are
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