Paul Dano on ‘Ruby Sparks': “Once we were filming, it was all [my character] for me”

paul-dano-ruby-sparksActor Paul Dano

found himself surrounded by familiar faces during the production of his latest film, Ruby Sparks.  He co-stars with his real-life girlfriend Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script, and the movie is directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, the husband-and-wife team who directed Dano in his breakthrough role in Little Miss Sunshine.  But as Dano tells Oregon Live, “The more personal it is the more fun I seem to have.”

Dano reveals that during the writing process it was no secret that Kazan was writing the script as a vehicle for the couple.  Dano says, “About three to five pages into reading it for the first time, I said, ‘Are you writing this for us?’ And she said ‘Yeah.’ She would show me pages and I’d try to a) be a good boyfriend and b) be a good bounce-board and ask good questions.  But I didn’t want to have a say in it, because I like to be surprised, and I want to be challenged, and it was better to engage her in talk about the whole thing and not just about Calvin.”

In order to ensure that the film remained faithful to Kazan’s script (and to ensure their casting in the leads), Dano needed to step up his role in the production, serving as sort-of uncredited producer.  He explains, “We knew that we wanted to be in it, but we also knew that we wanted to see it get made in the right way.  So it was important to us to be involved to a certain degree, and mostly that meant sending it off to the right people to start with. Jonathan and Valerie were our dream directors and out first choice.  And from that point on it was a collaboration: getting involved in more aspects of the filmmaking process than I normally do as an actor — casting and little parts of pre-production.”  He admits that the process had an impact on him and has piqued his interests, adding, “I’d like to be able to help get more films made that I’d want to appear in or want to see or that I think I have something to offer an audience.  I’d like to be more proactive in that.”

But Dano has no plans to abandon acting to switch to the other side of the camera.  He professes his love for acting, saying, “Once we were filming, it was all Calvin for me and that’s how it would always have to be.  Setting up the film and helping find the right people was where my producing duties fell, and then, when you’re working with people you trust, you don’t have to worry about small things.  Finding people you share a point of view with is what’s important.  On this film, I was working with people who I had a rapport with and a friendship with and trusted 1000%, but at the same time we were doing something new together, and we had an intimate collaboration.”

Ruby Sparks is now playing in limited release

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sag-foundation-conversation-with.jpg
SAG Foundation Conversation with the Cast of NBC’s ‘Marry Me’
Earlier this month NBC put in an order for five additional episodes of its freshman romantic comedy series, Marry Me. While that isn’t exactly the shot of confidence that a full-season renewal provides, it’s enough to keep fans of the comedy — which is about an engaged couple who are determined to get married despite […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/michael-caine.jpg
Michael Caine Talks About Acting With Your Eyes and Does an Amazing Cold Read of a Script
This week acting legend Michael Caine appears in his sixth film directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar. In an interview clip from The New York Times that was shot around the release of the last movie Caine worked on with Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises, reporter Melena Ryzik spoke to Caine about his six-decade career. In […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/director-dan-gilroy-narrates-a-s.jpg
Director Dan Gilroy Narrates a Scene from ‘Nightcrawler’ Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo
Nightcrawler is easily one of the best movies of the year and its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, is outstanding. Definitely check this out when you have a chance. In the above clip, writer/director Dan Gilroy narrates a sequence from the film that features Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. He talks about giving Gyllenhaal a small piece of […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/matthew-mcconaughey-talks-losing.png
Matthew McConaughey Talks Losing the Lead Role in ‘Bernie’ to Jack Black
Though Matthew McConaughey has increased his earned plenty of respect since he started taking on more substantive movie roles in the last few years (with Dallas Buyers Club even earning him an Oscar for Best Actor), one director that always has been a fan of McConaughey is Richard Linklater. Linklater gave McConaughey his first big […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/watch-benedict-cumberbatch-film.jpg
Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]