Dane DeHaan graduates from smaller roles to holding his own in heavy-duty films
kNOWN for playing Jesse on the HBO series In Treatment, Dane DeHaan is gradually morphing out of young boy roles and taking on bigger characters. He was in Kill Your Darlings, The Place Beyond the Pines and then played the Green Golbin/Harry Osborne in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now as James Dean in the upcoming film Life, the 29-year-old is all about being different and takes on challenging roles to prove it. He tells us more about being an actor, playing a villain, a legend and being compared to James Franco.
Playing Harry Osborne.
It was the six-year-old in me that jumped at the opportunity for a superhero film which is always exciting. And this role required me to go from being very human to being a monster. The transition
excited me. Plus, Spider-Man and Marvel Comics are a big deal.
Being an actor in 2015.
It is a tough profession at best of times. It is a bit about luck and plenty of hard work. I graduated the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where everyone in my class was fantastic. Yet some of them still don’t have a job. I just hit the pavement, and tried to find work to challenge me.
What was it like working on a super-hero film?
It was certainly something I always wanted to do. But I wanted to do it differently. So here I was in a big franchise, but as a villain. It is a different monster to be in such a large-scale production.
Which superhero would you like to portray?
Right now I don’t think there is any opportunity. I take things project by project. But when I am about 40 years old, I would love to play Batman. Until then I will just plod along!
Indie vs main stream films.
Bigger productions afford you the luxury of time. There is so much money, the budget is flexible, allowing things to go at a slower pace. Then there are films that take 21 days from start to finish!
Being James Dean in Life.
The producers approached me for this one and I spent a lot of time trying to convince them that they had made the wrong decision. He is such an iconic person, I was afraid that I would not do the character justice. But they were persistent and believed in me so much, I finally accepted. Even my family told me to take it on. Especially since he is my favourite actor.
On being compared to fellow actor James Franco.
I actually have not seen James Franco’s version of James Dean, but I did see him as the Green Goblin. It was a epic trilogy and it was part of my childhood. I was the kid who went rushing to the theatre to catch the film. But more than try to be different from the actor who played the role before me, I try to do justice to the role itself, no matter what character I play. I approach the role and aim to honour the part in the film.
Your pick: commercial success or critical acclaim?
I do what I do because I love acting. So I am going to make a new category between your two offers and call it ‘Artist Fulfillment’. It will have the best of both!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
premieres on Sony Pix on
March 1, at 1 pm and 9 pm.
— Aakanksha Devi