Paul Dano is one of the best up-and-coming Actors today, in fact he’s arguably one of the best Actors of his generation. That’s not to say that Dano has found huge success, in fact these days being underrated unfortunately goes hand in hand with being the most talented at your craft.
Dano’s acting is very subtle, his style which is like an intense version of John Cazale relies on slight variations in voice, expression, and even gait, rather than exaggerated or over-the-top performances. But having said that, this type of style doesn’t make any of Paul Dano’s roles any less impressive, quite the opposite. Amidst the rest of the cast, Dano usually shines through and his understated style oxymoronically attracts the most attention.
Paul Dano has given some great performances in films such as “12 Years A Slave” playing the slave owner’s assistant, and he was particularly brilliant in “Prisoners” as the intellectually disabled and awkward Alex Jones. Even in a lacklustre film like “Knight And Day”, Dano was still someone who stood out even with the likes of Tom Cruise on screen. And that’s another proof of Paul’s talent; the fact that he can hold his own against Hollywood stalwarts such as Cruise and even Daniel Day-Lewis. And speaking of Tinseltown mainstays, Dano was fantastic in the biopic “Love & Mercy”, so much so that I’d rather he’d been covered in latex makeup and play the older version of Brian Wilson instead of John Cusack.
Similar to his subdued performances, Paul Dano seems to have a knack for picking low-budget, independent, or generally small films rather than huge blockbusters. Aside from “Cowboys And Aliens”, he’s played parts in small but satisfying films such as “Little Miss Sunshine” and maybe because of this he hasn’t really stood out and been recognised by the masses as the huge talent he is.
Paul Dano is very refreshing in a business which is increasingly being filled with mediocre, talentless hacks. It’s strange that a sector of entertainment which is centred around believable and convincing portrayals would be so littered with bad Actors, but with people like Paul Dano there’s still hope for Hollywood.