One of the brightest young talents rising right now in Hollywood is Paul Dano. Since breaking out with "Little Miss Sunshine" and "There Will Be Blood," the actor has kept a low profile, preferring supporting roles in bigger films ("Knight And Day," "Cowboys & Aliens") and much smaller indie fare ("For Ellen," "Meek's Cutoff").
Dano has a few projects in the works at the moment, including the soon to be retitled "He Loves Me," a reunion with 'Sunshine' directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris that shot last summer; another reunion planned for this summer with Kelly Reichardt for the thriller "Night Moves," and a role in Rian Johnson's long-awaited "Looper," which is due out this fall. Before all that, however, the actor is starring opposite Robert De Niro in Paul Weitz's "Being Flynn," and recently took the opportunity during press rounds to discuss with Vulture the music playlists that have helped him get into character for previous roles.
"It's all about what's going to serve the mood, the vibe, the scene. 'Like for Little Miss Sunshine,' I listened to Rage Against the Machine, Pavement, and Elliott Smith. For 'There Will Be Blood,' I was listening to a lot of The Clash, and a lot of Radiohead. I mean, Jonny Greenwood did the score, but that wasn't why I was listening to Radiohead. No Kelis. No "Milkshake!" [Laughs] I certainly was not playing that in my headphones," Dano explains. "But also some Eminem and some classical music. For the film I did this summer, 'He Loves Me' — though we're changing the title — I was listening to a lot of Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, and The Rolling Stones. And sometimes I put on Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and Otis Redding, just to get my blood bubbling. That might have nothing to do with the character, or maybe it does. For this film at Sundance, 'For Ellen' [in which he plays a deadbeat dad rocker], a lot of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, and some hard rock that I don't like necessarily but was good for the character."
And as for "Being Flynn"? "A lot of punk rock. There's a bunch of stuff Nick listened to at the time, from the Minutemen to Galaxie 500, so I listened to that, plus The Hold Steady," Dano said. Sounds like he has an iTunes library to be reckoned with. "Being Flynn" roles into theaters this Friday, March 2nd — here are five clips from the film.