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Paul Dano began his career on the New York stage with supporting roles in the Broadway revival of Inherit the Wind, directed by John Tillinger, opposite George C. Scott and Charles Durning; and the Madison Square Garden staging of A Christmas Carol, directed by Mike Ockrent, with Ben Vereen and Terrence Mann. Most recently, he starred off-Broadway in the Ethan Hawke-directed production of The New Group’s Things We Want, with Peter Dinklage, Josh Hamilton, and Zoe Kazan.
Mr. Dano received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in a dual role opposite Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. The film marked his second consecutive starring role in a Best Picture Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee, following his performance in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ Little Miss Sunshine, in which he starred with Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, and Academy Award winner Alan Arkin. With his fellow actors from the latter feature, Mr. Dano shared the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture as well as the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble; additionally, he won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Young Actor for his performance in the film.
His first lead role in Michael Cuesta’s L.I.E., opposite Brian Cox, earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance as well as the Best Actor Award at the Stockholm Film Festival and (in a tie) the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film at L.A.’s Outfest.
His other films include Rebecca Miller’s The Ballad of Jack and Rose, also with Mr. Day-Lewis; D.J. Caruso’s Taking Lives; James Marsh’s The King; Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation; and Matt Aselton’s Gigantic, which Mr. Dano executive-produced and starred in alongside Zooey Deschanel and John Goodman.
He will soon be seen in Dagur Kári’s The Good Heart, also with Brian Cox; Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, adapted by Mr. Jonze and Dave Eggers from Maurice Sendak’s classic book; and Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s The Extra Man, with Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, and Katie Holmes.