Articles

2015 – CraveOnline

INTERVIEW | DANE DEHAAN ON ‘LIFE,’ ACTING, AND METALLICA

The ‘Life’ star discusses his craft, Hollywood in the 1950s, and why he did ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’

 

 

In the new film Life (currently in theaters), Dane DeHaan plays the legendary James Dean, and while the two actors may not look alike they both seem to comport themselves in a similar way. DeHaan is a young, handsome actor who has spent more of his career honing his craft and challenging himself than he has spent giving a crap about public image or marketing. They’re also both inscrutable, relatable, and immensely open performers who are more happy to converse than they are to “be interviewed.” There is a compelling, casual feature to DeHaan’s character that makes you want to be a friend.

Dane DeHaan (and it’s pronounced like Katherine Hahn and not “hand”) sat down with CraveOnline to talk about Life, about James Dean, about his varied career (like, what was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 all about?) and about how sometimes, just for sanity’s sake, one has to back away from intense roles.

CraveOnline: It’s a pleasure to meet you, and it was a pleasure to see you play James Dean, as – and I’m sure people have pointed this out to you – there are parallels between his character and yours.

I’m older now than James Dean ever was, unfortunately. [Laughs.] But thanks.

Did you have any relationship with James Dean before Life?

Yeah, I had the utmost admiration for him. He’s always been one of my favorite actors, and when I was at acting school, he was a person whose movies I was introduced to and someone whose movies I watched over and over again and again. I had a poster of him on my wall since I was in college. So I’m a fan of James Dean.

Surely playing James Dean is a threatening task. I hear you even turned down the role a few times.

Yeah, I did. And it was because it was so threatening, you know? Because he was a hero of mine. It was kind of person, holy material in a way. But I do these interviews, and I say I want to do the most challenging roles, the ones that scare me the most. And when that opportunity actually came along, I couldn’t turn away from it. I realized that if I wanted to practice what I preach, I gotta step up and take this opportunity that is being presented to me.

How does one go about preparing to play James Dean? How does one make such a known icon original and relatable?

A lot of things. It’s really challenging. I had to put on weight for it. I tried to capture his voice because he had a unique voice. I don’t think most people even realize that. So I worked with a dialect coach for that. I worked with a makeup artists I had worked with previously to figure out what we could do to make me look more like James Dean.

All these things are the more surface-y things, though. The real challenge – and the real fun – was trying to figure out who he actually was as a person. And going through all these biographies – of which you can read almost anything about him to figure out what was true and undeniably a fact. And what does that show me about who he was as a person? And then trying to bring that to life. No pun intended.

Sorry if this question is vague, but how would you sum up James Dean’s character?

I think that James Dean wanted to fuck the world before the world fucked him.

Well put.

Thank you.

James Dean was at the forefront of a new Method of acting in 1950s Hollywood. Do you think the Method is still relevant? Do you subscribe?

Well you have to know. Yeah, do I subscribe to the general idea of the Method that was happening in Hollywood at the time? Yes. Do I go about it in the same way as James Dean? No. I don’t. But one thing about that Method is there were a lot of different ways of teaching it. So James Dean did it different than I learned how to do it. His being a more Strasberg thing. My mentor, who studied with Bobby Lewis, who was a teacher at the Actors Studio at the time. All of which were aimed – Strasberg, Bobby Lewis, others – all these people aimed at the same goal of living as realistically as possible in imaginary circumstances. But all had a slightly different way in.

Did you do any research into the history of the time? Did you study Hollywood of the 1950s?

I’m sure [Anton Corbijn] had to study it a lot. For me, it was all about James Dean. That’s my part of the job. But it was interesting to learn about Hollywood at the time, and how studios worked at the time, and what exactly that would mean, and all that. The music. These were all things I look into. But they were all background to the fact that I was playing James Dean.

How is Hollywood different now than it was back then?

Oh, it’s super-different. Back then studio would pick a handful of actors to be in their movies, and you would only work for one studio. You would live at the studio. And you were completely controlled by the studio. They would literally take people and say “Okay. This guy, he’s named James Dean, and we’re going to project him into the world as this rebellious cool guy. And this woman, Marilyn, she’s going to be our Blonde Bombshell. This guy, like Brando and Newman, he’s going to be our leading man.” And so, in a way, you didn’t have any control over your career in a way that you do today. And you had almost no control over the image you projected.

Which is a lot of ways why I love this movie. It tries to to show what this guy was like as an icon, but also tries to show who he was underneath all that as a human being.

So… You got to meet Metallica. That’s pretty cool.

It was cool. Undeniably cool. It was a really exciting phone call to get. “Metallica wants to make a movie with you. Do you want to go hang out with them in Vancouver for two or three weeks?” Answer: Yes. It was awesome. Those guys are cool. It was really interesting to see all the different members individually. Who they are as humans vs. who they are as Metallica. They’re really a great group of guys. I still text with Lars [Ulrich] now and then. But yeah! Lars is actually is friends with Anton [Corbijn, the director of Life]. I think they’re all friend with Anton, who did their videos and album covers. So even in making this movie, I think Lars was really talking to me and to Anton about how we should be working together. So it’s funny how everything got interconnected.

You’ve done a lot of soulful, powerful indie dramas that are all very performance-centric. But there is a big outlier in your career, and it’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. What took you to that level of filmmaking?

I just think it’s fun to do a lot of different kinds of movies! I think that my “in” into the business… I think that as I was coming up in the business, I was really lucky because I looked like I was really, really young, but I was a classically trained actor. So I think that was a fortunate combo to have. Auditioning against people who were younger than me, who hadn’t really been to acting school, and there were all these great parts for younger people. So that was my “in” into the business. What I really love to do is act. And I really want to make all kinds of movies.

I’m about to make another big blockbuster movie. I just got done making my first horror movie. Before that I made another soulful indie movie. Before that, I made a 17th century romance. Before that, I made the James Dean movie. So for me, I just think I will get better if I challenge myself in different ways, in different genres, playing different parts.

There will always be a part of myself that wants to make that soulful indie drama, but, honestly, if that were all I made, it would probably kill me. Because those movies take so much away, those movies demand so much of me psychologically, that I honestly don’t think it’s healthy to sustain myself doing only those kinds of movies. Sometimes, I need to challenge myself in different ways, and give the psyche a break. I will always make those movies! But I can’t only make those movies. Not if I want to stay healthy and take care of myself. They demand so much of me, that it wouldn’t be healthy to make only those.

But I have a great one coming up. It’s called Two Lovers and a Bear. And it’s a super-soulful movie starring Tatiana Maslany and myself, directed by Kim Nguyen. And I’m super-excited for that movie because that was definitely a movie I did for myself. And it was an amazing journey. I’m really excited for it.

Did you find your youthful appearance to ever be a detriment when seeking more adult roles?

No. That’s what I started to do. I look older now than I did six years ago. I think that was my “in” into the business, and I think it was a great gift, but I haven’t played “young” for a while. My last movie, I was a businessman on Wall Street. Luckily, I haven’t played anyone under 25 in the last three years. And those movies haven’t really come out yet! [laugh] For James Dean, I took advantage of that. Like I said, it was a great “in” into the business, to look like I was 16 when I graduated college. I still look young, but I don’t look as young as I used to. I’ve been given opportunities to play older people for sure.

What was the first record you bought with your own money?

It was a CD at the time. I think it was Ace of Base. “I Saw the Sign.” I would have been five. Maybe it was “Weird Al.” “Weird Al” was my first concert.


Source: CraveOnline

Dane DeHaan's new INTERVIEW interview: TWO WEEKS IN THE LIFE OF JAMES DEAN By EMMA BROWN

2015 – Interview

TWO WEEKS IN THE LIFE OF JAMES DEAN

By EMMA BROWN


In 1955, a young photographer named Dennis Stock met James Dean at an L.A. party thrown by director Nicholas Ray. Stock was immediately intrigued and wanted to photograph Dean for a story in Life magazine. Dean was a little reluctant (as was Life), but Stock tracked him down to his New York apartment and managed to convince him. Over the next two weeks, Stock captured Dean getting his hair cut at the barbershop, playing the recorder in his apartment, standing in the rain in Times Square, attending dance and acting classes, and hanging out in his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana. They returned to New York in time for the premiere of Dean’s first film East of Eden (though Dean ended up not attending) and never met again. Eight months later, Dean was dead. In the intervening time he had been cast in and filmed Rebel Without a Cause and Giant, and became a movie star.

Life, the new film from Anton Corbijn starring Dane DeHaan as Dean and Robert Pattinson as Stock, is not a biopic. DeHaan is adamant about this. “This movie is about two weeks of his life, so I don’t really feel like it necessarily sums up who he was as a person,” DeHaan explains over the phone. Nor is Life about dispelling the many myths that surround Dean’s 24 years. “I don’t think it would be fair to watch the movie and be like, ‘James Dean was this,'” DeHaan continues. “I think it would be fair to be like, ‘This is probably what James Dean was like for these two weeks.’ It’s such a small slice of his life.”

Now 29, DeHaan began his career in the New York off-Off-Broadway theater scene, followed by television dramas like In Treatment and True Blood. While the Allentown, Pennsylvania-native is usually based in New York, when we talk on the phone he is in L.A. doing pre-production for Luc Besson’s next film Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets (DeHaan plays Valérian). “We’ve been rehearsing, doing costume fittings,” he says. “I’m getting my hair dyed tomorrow.”

EMMA BROWN: I heard that you were offered the part of James Dean in Lifeseveral times and turned it down.

DANE DEHAAN: You have heard correctly.

BROWN: And that one of the reasons you finally decided to sign on was that you had a conversation with one of the producers. What did he tell you?

DEHAAN: That was a part of it. They just kept coming back to me to play the part. James Dean is one of my favorite actors, so it felt like it was too close—too personal—to me. It was kind of sacred territory. The conversation that you’re talking about that I had with the producer Iain Canning explained to me that this isn’t a biopic of James Dean’s life, it’s a examination of how a normal person can be turned into a celebrity or an icon, and I thought that was really interesting. He also said that there are all these young people today who don’t know who James Dean is, and that’s kind of a mind-blowing thought to me. So hopefully people will watch this film and then go watch James Dean’s films.

BROWN: At the end of the film, you see some of the actual images of Dean from the Life article next to frames from the film—what was it like recreating an image so meticulously? Did it feel abnormal?

DEHAAN: It was just a blueprint for what we were creating. It was certainly different in that we have photo evidence that this moment happened, and then what happened before and what happened after was kind of the fun of it. I would always have the book on set with all the pictures in it and I would always bring it out and probably be the most annoying one about making sure that it was exactly like it was. When you watch the movie, you don’t see the actual photos until the end of the movie, so I think it’s an interesting choice that Anton made because you would have to be really familiar with the photos to realize those moments were happening. Again, because it’s such sacred territory for me, I just wanted to honor the truth of it as much as possible. To have photographic evidence of a moment that truthfully happened, [it] was really important to me to recreate that moment as specifically as possible.

BROWN: There’s so much out there about James Dean, and not a lot from Dean himself. Did you feel like you really got to know him?

DEHAAN: Well, I did my best. There’s no way of knowing. That’s one of the main challenges in the movie. You can read anything about James Dean. My job was to sift through the information and figure out what was undeniably true, and of the stuff that was undeniably true, what does that say about who he was as a person. For example, you read biographies and one will say, “He smoked Camel cigarettes,” and the next will say, “He smoked Malboros,” and the next that he smoked something else. You start to realize that somebody probably saw James Dean at a party, saw him smoking and they wanted to tell their friends—they probably knew who he was. All these myths of the kind of cigarettes James Dean smoked were made, when really what to take away from that for me as an actor is he smoked a lot of cigarettes and he didn’t care what kind they were. He wasn’t not going to smoke if he couldn’t find a pack of Camels. I feel like that’s what it is—people wanting to feel like they knew him, and no one really knowing him.

BROWN: In past interviews you’ve said that the most excited you’ve ever been to get a job was when you were cast in an episode of Law & Order: SVU after college. Is that still the case?

DEHAAN: Yeah. In terms of pure ecstasy of the news of finding out that I got the job, for sure. That was a time when I didn’t know if I was going to ever work as an actor. To get that phone call and find out I was going to be on TV as this young kid just out of acting school was the most exciting phone call I could imagine. I was so ecstatic. I’m still so grateful for all the opportunities that I have, but working as an actor has become a part of my life now, and back then it was a dream.

BROWN: Do you miss that feeling?

DEHAAN: Not really. Because along with that comes this unknown. I still love what I do and I still find great joy in what I do, I just don’t have the unabashed optimism. I’ve accomplished almost everything I’ve wanted to accomplish in a way, and that’s such an amazing feeling in and of itself. Back then I hadn’t accomplished anything, and the possibility of it and the opportunity was the most exciting thing that could happen. I respect them as two separate parts of my life, and I don’t really wish it was back then again. I’m happy that it’s now. Life changes and that’s cool too. Growing older is amazing, I think.

BROWN: Is Law & Order how you got your SAG card?

DEHAAN: No, I didn’t have to join until I did a certain amount of jobs. The time that I had to finally pay the dues I did a test of a possible non-smoking commercial. I think I got paid 50 bucks to do it, but because it was my third job, I had to pay however many thousands of dollars to get into SAG. I lost a lot of money doing this possible non-smoking commercial. [laughs] I was just sitting in a lobby coughing.

BROWN: Was it a secondhand smoke situation?

DEHAAN: No, it was firsthand smoke. We were just all dying from smoking.

BROWN: I know you did a lot of theater in New York when you started out. When did you get your Actor’s Equity card?

DEHAAN: It must have been when I understudied this production of American Buffalo, and Haley Joel Osment was in it and I was his understudy.

BROWN: Have you ever had an understudy?

DEHAAN: I don’t think so. I’ve done mostly off-Broadway theater and it’s been shorter runs. The only time you’re required to get an understudy is if the run is a certain length.

BROWN: I think I would feel obliged to take a sick day so the understudy could actually perform.

DEHAAN: This revival of American Buffalo ran for a week, so there wasn’t really time for a sick day. [laughs]

BROWN: Was that quite jarring?

DEHAAN: Yeah, it was. I was devastated. I didn’t expect it and all of a sudden I didn’t have a job, but it was such a blessing in disguise, because when that show was closed I was able to join this production of a play at Soho Rep called Sixty Miles to Silver Lake. I had been already cast in it and I had to drop out of it to take the bigger job. So I was able to get back into that production, and that was really the start of my off-Broadway career, my actual acting career when I wasn’t understudying anyone. Who knows what would have happened if I didn’t have an opportunity to really start my own career.

BROWN: When you were cast in In Treatment, had anybody seen your theater work or was it just based on your audition?

DEHAAN: I think they just saw my audition. I was in the Philippines. I was shooting this John Sayles movie called Amigo and made a tape. The internet was terrible. I sat by my computer for about 14 hours while the video loaded. It was really from that tape. On my way back from the Philippines I stopped in L.A. and was cast. But one of the writers on In Treatment that year was Adam Rapp, and I think he had something to do with getting me the audition in the first place, so the New York theater scene was somehow connected to that for sure.

LIFE IS CURRENTLY PLAYING IN SELECT THEATERS.  

Dane DeHaan as James Dean in LIFE - new stills

2015 – The Huffington Post

Dane DeHaan On Playing James Dean And The Diverse Landscape Of Fame

The 29-year-old takes on the role of the icon in the film “Life.”

You might not be familiar with his name, but surely you recognize Dane DeHaan.

The 29-year-old actor has been climbing his way up the Hollywood ladder, appearing in the TV series “In Treatment” before landing roles in movies such as “A Place Beyond the Pines,” “Kill Your Darlings” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” DeHaan’s performances say it all: he’s an actor who’s eager to challenge himself, no matter how big or small the project.

Currently, he’s starring as the iconic James Dean alongside Robert Pattinson’s Dennis Stock in the Anton Corbijn-helmed film “Life.” The movie tells the story behind Stock’s now infamous Life magazine photo shoot of Dean, which took place as the “East of Eden” actor was on the verge of superstardom in 1955. The images showcased Dean as the epitome of cool, giving his rebellious, free-spirit aura leverage. Dean tragically died in a car accident in September 1955, before two of his most beloved and celebrated films, “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant,” were released. He became the first and only actor to receive two posthumous Academy Award nominations for “East of Eden” and “Giant,” and rightfully became an on-screen legend. 

DeHaan was unsurprisingly nervous to portray the actor, not only because of his iconic status, but because so little is known about who Dean truly was. He spoke about the role and his idea of fame in an interview with The Huffington Post.

Tell me about the casting and how you got involved in “Life”?

I was sent the script, I read it and I was like, “I don’t really want to do this.” I just kept saying that because he’s always been one of my favorite actors and, to me, it’s really holy material. But they kept coming back and I started to take meetings with everybody and I listened to what they had to say and I realized that I was just operating out of fear. I do all these interviews and I say, “I want to do the role that’s the most challenging or I want to do the role that scares me the most,” and then that opportunity legitimately came around and I was running away from it. It was really my wife [Anna Wood] who pointed that out to me in the end, and I realized that if I want to practice what I preach, this is it, this is the opportunity. Why not do this? It’s a great script, it’s a great director, it’s a really challenging part — it ticks off every box. It’s just, to me, it was kind of personal so it took me a while to come to that.

You must have been a little flattered though, this is James Dean. Great actor, good-looking guy …

Yeah, totally flattered! And also, to be honest, kind of confused.

Why? 

I don’t know, honestly, I just didn’t understand. Like, why do they keep coming back to me? I had to go through a lot, even physically, to try to look like him. It wasn’t just a show up on set, 15 minutes of makeup thing. It was three months of training and an hour and a half in the makeup chair every day. So, I didn’t really understand why they wanted me, but I was flattered. In the end, especially at this point of James Dean’s career that he’s at in this movie and what’s going on and the relationships he has and how he feels about his work, I think I have a lot more in common with James Dean than I do almost any other character that I’ve played.

This movie takes place when James was on the cusp of stardom, so how did you mimic him? How did you study his mannerisms — the way he looked, the way he walked — since there wasn’t much out there of him? 

I worked with a dialect coach named Nadia Venesse, who’s really amazing, to help get the voice down. She actually found a recording of when he went back to Indiana to visit his family. He had bought one of the first-ever Spy recorders, just because he thought it was a cool toy, and he taped conversations that he had with his aunts and uncles and cousins — and [Nadia] found it. And it was really invaluable because, it’s not like he doesn’t sound like he does in movies, but that’s him acting and this was him in a real environment; it was a direct source. So I listened to that over and over again, and I studied the time period. As for the mannerisms, it was important for me to match that specific moment [with the Life magazine shoot]. And mostly, the physicality was more about who he was on the inside. Who was James Dean? Not what people think he was, but who was he actually as a person? And I think as I started to delve into that, I feel like the mannerisms came along with it.

Did you study those Dennis Stock photos inside and out?

I was pretty familiar with the photos already, but in many ways, they’re staged. Although they’re amazing photos, in a way, they’re somewhat responsible for the myth of James Dean. Because James Dean is not that cool … I mean, he’s cool! But that photo in Times Square, he looks like the epitome of cool, and then there are really interesting photos where he’s sitting behind a desk reading a book which show a different side of him. When I was in college, those were the ones that I thought were the most interesting — it was the first time I saw James Dean and he didn’t look cool. With the role, it was about reading the most I could about him. There are a lot of biographies about him and that was a bit of a problem too because it becomes more about, “Who wrote this? What was their relationship to him? What exactly are they trying to do and why does this information contrast with this information? And what information is undeniably true? And of the information that is undeniably true, what does that show you about who he was?”

It must have been so strange for you to step into that world and recreate these images you love. 

Yeah. We definitely had the book on set and I was probably the most annoying with, “Bring the book out! We have to make sure it’s exactly like it was!” I think it was fun to look at the images and see those moments — it was an interesting way to make a movie, for sure.

What did you and Robert Pattinson do to create that bond James and Dennis shared? 

It’s an interesting bond because I don’t really look at them as friends. I look at them as two artists who were both struggling in different ways, because they work in different ways, and they come across each other and they influence each other as artists. So while a lot of people are calling it a friendship movie, I don’t really see the friendship part of it. It’s not like Rob and I weren’t friends, it’s just I felt like that was the relationship we had probably because of the film. We hung out a couple of times outside of set, but other than that, it would be show up on set and really get to know each other through the process of making the movie as two artists who go about things in two different ways. And I think in that way, you don’t have to “act” the relationship, you just allow it to happen on screen.

How do you see fame when James Dean was around versus now? He lived at a time when Hollywood was starting to become this huge fascination for people and now it’s reached a whole other level. 

Back then, it was almost more creepy because studios would draft actors almost like a basketball team drafts players. And then they would live on the studio lot and, literally, the studios would have pictures of them and say, “Now this guy we’re going to show as our rebel and this woman is our blonde bombshell and this is our ingénue and this is our leading man.” And so, you had no control over your image, your image was controlled by the studio. You did the movies that they wanted you to do and it was only with one studio. Today, there’s a lot more freedom because that’s not how it works. You can do a studio movie, but then you can shoot an independent movie and navigate your career in that way. That was interesting to me because you would have thought back then it was more free, but I actually think it was more controlled.

Even looking at your own resume — you’ve done a big blockbuster with “Spider-Man 2” and a quieter movie like “A Place Beyond the Pines.” You’ve selected a variation of roles. How did you get started? 

My whole life I knew I wanted to be an actor. I went to acting school and to college at North Carolina School of the Arts and they do a showcase in New York and one in LA and I was lucky enough to get an agent out of that. Then I started working in theater in New York for a couple of years and that turned into me doing this show “In Treatment” on HBO, and then I moved to LA after that. I’ve been really lucky, it’s been like seven or eight years that I’ve been doing it professionally and it’s been crazy madness.

Do you still audition or are you finding people call for you to be in their films, and if so, how does that make you feel? 

Yeah, now that’s what’s been happening lately. It’s way preferred, definitely! [laughs] Listen, I would audition, and I think there’s always going to be 10 people at your level and when all of those 10 people want to do a role and the director doesn’t know who they want, you audition. But the last film I did [“A Cure for Wellness”] was in Germany and Gore Verbinski directed it and he was kind of like, “Do you want to be in my movie?” And I was like, “YES!” And Luc Besson kind of did the same thing. And it’s a really surreal thing. But it is important to me to not allow people to typecast me, if that’s the right word? I really want people to look at me as an actor and not as a person who does THAT thing.

So with Luc Besson, you’re in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” How’s that going?

It starts next year and we film in Paris for six months. It’s a really big movie, for sure. Tons of special effects — I’ll be acting to a lot of tennis balls for the first time, which I’m really excited about! I mean, “Spider-Man” had special effects, but there’s also a lot of humanity in “Spider-Man,” a lot of intertwining between actual human relationships. But this movie takes place in outer space. So, I’m really excited and I think it will be interesting to do a movie like that. I don’t really know what that means — right now all I know is that I have to be in really good shape [laughs] … which is a lot of work.

You’re working with Cara Delevingne on that, who’s getting into the film world lately. Have you gotten to know her well? 

I’ve met her like two times and sometimes we text each other. I just feel like she’ssooo much cooler than me. [laughs] Her life when she’s not making a movie seems so exciting and she’s at concerts and flying here and there and I’m just on my couch with my dog and my wife, like, checking her Instagram: “Oh, she got the most amazing puppy ever! Oh, now she’s in Mexico at a concert!” She’s really cool, in a way that I’ve never been that cool. But I’ve been thinking about how that could play into the movie because there is an aspect to it that we work together, but I want us to be together, so maybe there’s some fun to be had with how much cooler she is than me.

You’ve worked with some actors with huge fan bases, like Daniel Radcliffe and Rob Pattinson. Did you see all that come into play when you were on set with them? And are you fearful of that kind of fame yourself going forward? 

I’ve worked with Shia LaBeouf too, and it manifests itself differently for all those guys. It’s interesting because all those movies have a different target audience. People love Dan in this way where they want to hold him close, where with Rob, they just want to jump on him and make out with him — there’s this sexuality that goes along with Rob’s fans where they’re just sooo into him as a sexual being. And then Shia’s fans are like, “You’re the Transformer hero!” They all handle it different ways. Their lives are all more crazy than mine is. But am I scared of that happening?

Yeah, like for example, can you walk around without people noticing you?

Yeah, well, they don’t not notice me but …

It’s not like you’re attacked.

Right. I can go to the grocery store and people are like, “Hi, I really like you.” And I’m like, “Thank you!” … When we were filming “Life,” I remember one day on set Rob was like, “I went to the grocery store for the first time in so long.” And I was like, “OK?” I don’t know. I don’t really think about that stuff that much because it’s sort of out of my control and I’m just really grateful that I get to do what I do.

Do you think it’s different in New York versus LA?

I know Dan calls New York his “head-up city,” because he feels like it’s the only city where he can walk with his head up. [laughs] Which I think is probably a good way of putting it.

This conversation relates back to James Dean, and sort of idolizing people. 

Yeah. People look back on James Dean and think he must have been the coolest, most interesting person. But in the movie, you see that it’s not like they take the Times Square photo and say “I got the shot!” It’s like, “All right, I got another photo, let’s move on.” It’s not until after the fact that it shows a normal person can be turned into an icon. Mostly, everyone is just going through everyday life and maybe even in a mundane way.

That speaks to the whole aspect of fame. 

Your work is how people know you. People know me from the roles I’ve done or the photo shoots I’ve done, so they probably think I’m …  I don’t know what they think of me! [laughs] But it’s not really me. That’s what I love to do, that’s what I’m most passionate about and I love that I’ve been embraced the way I have, but I’m so much more boring than any character I’ve ever played. Maybe that should be my little secret.

“Life” is now in theaters and on demand. 

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

 


Source: The Huffintonpost

The Globe and Mail: new interview with Dane DeHaan on James Dean and LIFE

2015 – The Globe and Mail

Dreaming of James Dean with Dane DeHaan


Looking at Dane DeHaan’s face, whose soulful blue eyes and pouty lips call to mind a young Leonardo DiCaprio; listening to his sleepy voice, which sounds as if it’s being pushed through silk; and scanning his filmography, which is full of artists, romantics and outsiders, you might make assumptions about him. You might think that he gravitates toward certain roles, or they to him, because he has in him that same kind of troubled innocence – Lucien Carr, one of the original Beat Generation, in Kill Your Darlings. Jason, Ryan Gosling’s tortured son, in The Place Beyond the Pines. Timbo, a slinky werepanther on True Blood. Jesse, the manipulative, vulnerable teen who peddles drugs and sleeps with older men on In Treatment. And now James Dean, the poster boy for doomed glamour, in the new film Life (which opens Friday). But that would be an oversimplification, and DeHaan, 29, will call you on it.

“I feel that was James Dean’s problem, too,” he says in a phone interview. “People want to put you into categories, to make you quantifiable: ‘You are this kind of person.’ I just want to be seen as a human being, an actor. You could take a couple of my roles and draw comparisons, but I don’t think it would be fair.”

That’s what Life is about, he continues – “This guy who’s now known as the epitome of cool, what if he was just a human being? What if he wasn’t all the things the world wants him to be, and has put on his shoulders? What if he was a completely different person, but because of certain photos, and the roles he played and the image the studio projected of him, this is the cross he bears?”

Life, directed by Anton Corbijn (A Most Wanted Man), tells the story behind the now-iconic images shot by Magnum photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) just before Dean’s premiere in East of Eden, as the pair travelled from New York to Los Angeles and Dean’s family farm in Indiana. Hollywood is already trying to commodify Dean, but he’s resisting. (A Canadian co-production, it was shot partly in Toronto.) The Dean that emerges is thoughtful, amused, wary, unreliable and hard to pin down, but not especially troubled or dark.

DeHaan’s been a fan of Dean since his teens – “He pioneered the kind of acting most people attempt to do today,” he says. So he “immersed” himself in as much Dean as he could for four months, reading books, watching films, listening to his voice. “I had a lot of feelings about him, but I didn’t know a lot about him,” DeHaan says. “Which I feel is how most people are. He’s such a myth. So many people think they know him. But if you read biographies of him, one will say one thing, and the next will say the exact opposite.”

DeHaan had to decide for himself which Dean stories felt believable and which were sensationalized. “People love to latch on to things they’ve heard about him that are dark,” he goes on. “They certainly sell books and make good headlines. But I think that side has been blown out of proportion. And because he died so young, he couldn’t control that.”

Dean’s presence still resonates today because of his talent, DeHaan maintains, not his personal life. “He was an amazing actor,” he says. “Any great artist’s blessing and curse is that they’re in touch with humanity, probably on a deeper level than most people. Human nature will always be human nature, no matter what the time period, and Dean was able to bring that to life in a way that echoes universally and forever. He captured the angst of youth. His characters went through things gracefully but also with such vulnerability; they managed to be macho and feminine at the same time. He made them Everymen.”

DeHaan is working hard to do the same. “I love doing what I do,” he says. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. The fact I get to do it on the level I do blows my mind every day.” Fame doesn’t beat him up the way it did Dean – “If I get some high-fives when I go to the grocery store [in Brooklyn, where he lives], I don’t see how I can complain,” he says wryly. “As long as the work is there and challenging, I welcome anything that comes along with that.” Upcoming films include Tulip Fever, in which he plays a 17th-century painter; Two Lovers and a Bear, an indie romance opposite Tatiana Maslany; and A Cure for Wellness, a supernatural horror film that was shot in a German castle.

Although DeHaan doesn’t stay in character off set, whatever he’s working on becomes “an all-consuming task. I take what I do maybe too seriously.” Aspects of his roles creep into his life and affect him – not by choice, he insists – but he doesn’t realize how much until after the fact. While playing Dean, for example, “I was always telling people, ‘Be cool,’” DeHaan says, laughing. “I was so sensitive. I was crying all the time. And more paranoid than I usually am.”

He also had dreams about Life, including dreams in which he was Dean – but that’s not unusual for him. “I have to be dreaming about what I’m doing,” DeHaan says. “It’s really important for me to dig into my work, not only on a conscious level, but also on a subconscious level. So when I’m dreaming about it, then I feel it’s working on a level I’m not in control of. That puts me at ease, knowing my conscious work is also affecting me subconsciously.”

So committed is DeHaan that if he’s not dreaming about his work, “I’d be worried,” he says. “I’d be like, I need to work harder.’”


Source: The Globe and Mail

EXCLUSIVE: full Dane DeHaan interview from WONDERLAND 2015 + scans

2015 – Wonderland

Playing his favourite actor in forthcoming biopic Life, young Hollywood’s fresh-faced poster boy Dane DeHaan faced his thoughest test to date

It took film director Anton Corbijn months and months to persuade Dane DeHaan to play James Dean in big-screen biopic, Life. It wasn’t that DeHaan lacked enthusiasm for the part, it’s that he was dreading stepping into the skin of his idol. Shitting it, in fact. “I’m the one that goes around saying I want to challenge myself all the time,” he tells me from the Brooklyn apartment he shares with his wife and fellow screen performer, Anna Wood. “Then when the opportunity really came along, I got scared. This is the biggest challenge of my career.”

Hollywood needs more young actors like DeHaan. Here’s a guy who’s as comfortable playing a ballistic, gas can-wielding heavy metal roadie (2013’s anarchic thriller, Metallica: Through The Never) as he is a heartbroken 17th century painter (forthcoming drama, Tulip Fever). He changes his colours quicker than a Rubik’s Cube, knows when to say no to work and, as I learned, rarely lets his guard down in interviews. Since his film debut in 2010’s Amigo he’s averaging five roles a year, each as diverse as they are demanding. Though he often plays youths dealt a tough hand in life — most notably in cult, halogen-lit Ryan Gosling vehicle Place Beyond the Pines — typecast DeHaan is defiantly not.

“You have to be a strong individual,” he says with the deadpan inflection of a Daria character that never was. “I know what I want, I don’t want to just shine bright and then burn out, I want to have a slow-burner of a career. For me, the challenge is just keeping it about the work and trying to let it speak for itself.”

One thing’s for absolute sure: when DeHaan is certain of a part, he’ll wrap his life around it like a boa constrictor. To land his stint as the Green Goblin/Harry Osborn in last year’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he asked co-star Andrew Garfield to recommend him to director Marc Webb. He pursued the role for months and when he got it, based his character on the typical, moneyed pseudo-intellectual he’s used to meeting in New York. “It’s undeniable the positive effects doing a movie like that has had on my career,” he remarks. “If you do big movies, if you put yourself in the public consciousness in that way, it allows you to do whatever movie you wanna do next.” Hop-scotching between projects humble and humungous, DeHaan’s keeping his options wide open. “It comes down to this balance – I don’t always want to be doing big movies, or small ones. I think if I just did one of either of those it would really start to wear away at me physically, mentally. With Spider-Man, I had never been in a movie that big, but I loved the people involved. I wanted it selfishly, but I also wanted to work with Andrew.”

When, after five failed attempts, photographer-turned-filmmaker Corbijn finally twisted DeHaan’s arm for Life, the actor was put on a demanding diet plan. Gaining a skin-splitting 25 pounds in three months and crunching his vocals flat to mimic Dean’s infantile rasp, DeHaan’s performance is studied and compelling.

He’s hardly a plaster-cast lookalike, but he never tried to be. “It’s not like I didn’t spend a tonne of time on his voice, but the most important work, I think, is trying to figure out who he was, what drove him forward,” he muses, counting out the biographies he read in prep.

The film, out in the UK this autumn, follows the slow-burn relationship between Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) and a pre Rebel Without a Cause-starring Dean. Following him for the photo-series everywhere from New York’s seediest nightspots to his family home in Indiana, Stock captures the 24-year-old in his playful prime: passed out drunk on a table beside a buxom blonde (To Rome With Love’s Alessandra Mastronardi), playing the jester on a farm, and sharing a close moment with his son. His favourite of Webb’s series — which shows Dean sitting alone on the stage of a high school auditorium — didn’t make the film.“I was in college [when I saw it], and that was the first time he became human to me,” he laughs. The scene where Dean follows Stock into a drizzly Times Square to pose for one of his most iconic portraits, is as powerful as acting gets. As DeHaan cracks Dean’s wily, ear-to-ear smirk for Pattinson’s Leica SM, ex-Final Fantasy songwriter Owen Pallett’s soundtrack simmers underneath.

Years before Life, DeHaan had spoken at length about “misunderstood” Dean.The film portrays him as a mischievous, limelight-averse visionary – a million miles away from the coy country boy he’s thought of as being. “Everyone knows that photograph of James Dean in Times Square. It’s such a strong image, but nobody is just one thing. Nobody is just a rebel, nobody is just cool. He was so much more than that. Hopefully, this film shows that.”

Whipped up for an Annie Leibovitz-shot Prada menswear campaign last year, he must know what it feels like to be labelled a young, mysterious icon. I think it does a really good job of showing how a normal person can be turned into an icon,” he ponders. “How photographs can change the way the world views a person. You can t just think of two of my movies and categorise my entire person. Luckily, I’m not like the people I play in my movies. I feel like I’m a lot more of a sane, normal person than a lot of the times I’m portrayed on screen.”

Off-set, DeHaan often unconsciously stays in character. Wood had to repeatedly remind him to snap out of his Dean persona, he recalls. “It is full immersion. I feel like my characters leak into my personal life because they’re all consuming.” Indeed, there is something uncanny about DeHaan’s casting, especially in the scene where he demands to be shown “only good movies”, to accept honest, upstanding projects alone.

In 2017, he and Cara Delevingne star in Valerian, Luc Besson’s first film in three years. Based on the graphic novel, DeHaan plays a time-travelling 28th century protagonist in one of the most anticipated sci-fis of the decade. He’s not slowing down, then. In fact, you get a sense that now, more than ever, Dane DeHaan is as high as he’ll get. But what of the bigger roles he’s turned down? “I just don’t see any real reason to answer that question… its too dangerous,” he rebuts. “It’s not what I don’t do, it’s about what I do do.”




READ: exclusive translation of Dane DeHaan's INTERVIEW Germany interview by Anton Corbijn

2015 – Interview Germany (translated)

He was Ryan Gosling’s son in The Place Beyond the Pines, the devilish goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and malicious gossip has it that he has what it takes to be the next Leonardo DiCaprio. Nonsense! If a legend then do it the right way: in Anton Corbijn’s new movie Life the 29 year-old American plays the role of the everlasting rebel JAMES DEAN

by Anton CORBIJN

I have a degree in armed stage combat with knife, sword, dagger and epee.“ – Dane DeHaan

ANTON CORBIJN: No matter how doubtful my questions are going to turn out, you absolutely have to watch out for the quality of your answers.

DANE DEHAAN: What? But that is not fair!

CORBIJN: In the interviews, I did for Life, everybody told me that you turned down the role of James Dean five times. And all I could say all the time was: “I don’t know”. Did you really turn down the role five times?

DEHAAN: I’m afraid, this is true. At first they asked me to do an audition tape but I said: „I don’t think, that I am interested in the role.“ Then they asked me again for an audition tape, so I said: „I think, I am still not interested in the role.“ Then I had the meeting with you, where I said, that I am maybe still not interested in the role until Iain Canning, the producer, stepped in and I slowly started to get interested. Maybe I only turned down four times.

CORBIJN: And I thought, our meeting convinced you right away?

DEHAAN: (laughs) No, but it helped. Every meeting, that I had, helped a little. I was just shitting my pants. I mean, I am always saying, that I only want roles, that I am afraid of, but when the big challenge came, I scarpered.

CORBIJN: They also said that you didn’t want to meet me.

DEHAAN: Was that so? I have no idea! I can only remember, that I still met up with you. I wanted to be persuaded. And because I couldn’t talk myself into it, someone else had to do it. Iain and my wife, Anna had done it in the end. They said: What is your problem? You love the script, you like the director and it’s a role, that is going to challenge you.

CORBIJN: You had to gain a lot of weight.

DEHAAN: Yes, eleven kilos (twenty-four pounds). James Dean was 5’7” (1,73 m) tall and the weighted around 70 kilos (154 pounds). And I am 5’10” (1,78 m), so I thought, that 73,5 kilos (160 pounds) could work out for the role. But I had to put the weight in the right places.

CORBIJN: Yes, we couldn’t use a beer belly.

DEHAAN: But I had a little belly.

CORBIJN: Yes, Hollywood wasn’t that strict with bodies in the fifties.

DEHANN: You were allowed to have a soft body. You didn’t had to be buff.

CORBIJN: Dean, definitely did not have a six-pack.

DEHAAN: No, he wasn’t defined at all, none of the actors were. Except for Paul Newman. But he was naturally athletic. Dean and Brando had soft muscles. Farmers-bodies.

CORBIJN: But how was it for you, changing your body? Did it feel different?

DEHAAN: It felt different just because of the fact that I had to do a lot of things to get to the weight. Also a lot of training and lots of food: Protein shakes, tons of meat, eggs and coconut oil – totally silly.

CORBIJN: I always find it fascinating what a different look causes at people. If you enter a room, people look at you differently. Fellows encounter you differently, and maybe even your wife treated you differently.

DEHAAN: And I with myself too. When I looked into the mirror I said: “Who does this body belong to?” Really weird.

CORBIJN: Did you learn something new about Dean while you were shooting the movie?

DEHAAN: Well, I knew his movies, of course I mostly saw the legend in him. I didn’t know anything about his childhood. Nor did I know anything about his private life. I had to read all those things. Now I know about his weaknesses and problems. The two weeks, that Life is telling about, were extremely important to him. He looks back onto his childhood, when his private life gets taken away from him but that he can fulfill his dreams, of being an actor, with that.

CORBIJN: Do you read a lot, by the way?

DEHAAN: Well, I have to read scripts. I can hardly do more. The only book I read in 2014 was The Goldfinch.

CORBIJN: That is the novel by Donna Tartt, isn’t it?

DEHAAN: Yes, a wonderful book. I am reading Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore rigt now. There are a lot of conversations with animals in the book and because I am playing a character in my next movie, who can talk to animals, I thought, it might be helpful.

CORBIJN: What are you doing to get relaxed?

DEHAAN: I watch movies, I play golf and I cut wood. I love to cut wood. What are you doing to get relaxed?

CORBIJN: I think I don’t relax. In the past I was watching movies, but since I am directing movies, it’s not relaxing anymore. I have to analyze everything now.

DEHAAN: I had an acting teacher once, who always fell asleep, while we were playing. And when we were done with the scene, he always analyzed our play and he was so exact and on the point that I always thought: “What is he even doing? This can’t be possible.” Until I realized that he was only awake as long as we could get his attention. When we made mistakes, when we were not concentrated, he fell asleep. That was, of course, a measure to relax in between.

CORBIJN: How long did you take acting lessons?

DEHAAN: I started in my last year at High school and I continued at College. So five years of intense education.

CORBIJN: When I wanted to study photography in the early seventies, I had the bad luck, that photography wasn’t admitted as an artistic discipline. You were able to take photography classes at Dutch art colleges but only as a minor subject. So, to get into the classes, you had to take the regular art classes, which I had no idea of. I got turned down at three art colleges. Then I went to a school, where failed photographers taught me the art of photography – I hated that.

DEHAAN: You hated it?

CORBIJN: So much. They only talked about the technical aspects and I didn’t cared about them. So one thing lead to the other and I taught it myself, what obviously has it’s own advantages. But it also has the disadvantage that you don’t feel like a real photographer, because there are so many things you can’t do.

DEHAAN: I understand.

CORBIJN: That’s why I had to fight for so long to be respected as a photographer. But by now I only see it as a hobby.

DEHAAN: Really?

CORBIJN: Yes.

DEHAAN: You don’t see yourself as a photographer anymore?

CORBIJN: Well, not in the strict sense. I take pictures of what I like to take pictures of and I can make a good living out of it. Photography is not a job to me anymore because I have too much respect for it. And because I don’t know so many things I would feel like fraud calling myself a photographer.

DEHAAN: Okay. And how about your job as a director?

CORBIJN: Similar.

DEHAAN: (laughs) Hobby or Job?

CORBIJN: By now more a job, because I am studying movies – like, not at a university, but privately. That is because movies are such a big commitment. Every movie costs me a year of my life. To get through this I really have to want it.

DEHAAN: When you say, you study movies, does that mean that you watch movies very concentrated?

CORBIJN: Yes, exactly. I watch movies, I am going to the theater, trying to find out what makes an actor better than the other actors, trying to recognize strengths. Nimi is really good at that (Nimi Ponnudurai, Corbijn’s wife). She can always remember names too. I forget every name.

DEHAAN: You are probably a visual type of a person and you can remember faces better. But apart from this the actors you are working with are all very different, or?

CORBIJN: Sure. There are for example many people who criticize Rob (Robert Pattinson, playing the second lead role in “Life”), because he did that trilogy – what is it called?

DEHAAN: Twilight.

CORBIJN: Twilight, exactly. But I think Rob is just perfect in our movie, that role is like made just for him. But people only look at his past and they say: “How can you take him?” That is insane!

DEHAAN: People love it to postmark actors. It wasn’t different with James Dean either. He is the most postmarked actor of all the time, which maybe was because; there are only three movies he did.

CORBIJN: Right.

DEHAAN: But he had so many different sides. When people think about Dean, they definitely don’t think about that scene in Giant, where he is 20 years older and sitting at the table completely drunk. They only see him as that adolescent rebel in Rebel Without a Cause. It’s often like this. Rob played the romantic vampire in Twilight and people think, okay, Rob is like that vampire.

CORBIJN: That’s why he is only starring in movies right now that have nothing to do with that. He wants to prove himself as an actor and plays someone who wants to prove himself as a photographer. I know it from you that you are a huge admirer of Philip (Philip Seymour Hoffman, played the lead role in Corbijn’s “A Most Wanted Man”). He was a person who literally disappeared in his characters.

DEHAAN: Yes, when I tried to train myself to speak like James Dean, I watched Capote again. Philip’s voice was so distant from his own voice, but you never felt for a second that it sounded fake.

CORBIJN: That was physically interesting too. He seems much shorter in Capote than he really was.

DEHAAN: He became a little man in that role.

CORBIJN: What languages do you speak?

DEHAAN: What languages? Only English!

CORBIJN: But you have Dutch roots, or?

DEHAAN: Yes, but I don’t know anything specific. I mean, I grew up with the culture of Pennsylvania Dutch but their culture is more German than Dutch. In Pennsylvania you have the Amish’s, the Mennonite’s and the Pennsylvania Dutch’s. But I never did genealogical research.

CORBIJN: But you know what your last name means in English?

DEHAAN: Yes. The rooster.

CORBIJN: I’d say: The cock!

DEHAAN: Well (laughs). But does DeHaan mean the same in Dutch what cock means in English?

CORBIJN: No, one haan is a male cock. Then your Dutch roots didn’t help you much while you were shooting Tulip Fever?

DEHAAN: No, not at all. Even though I had to learn how to paint for that movie. That was a challenge.

I CUT WOOD.

I LOVE IT,

TO CUT WOOD.”

CORBIJN: How do you learn how to paint? Especially in which style?

DEHAAN: It was about Dutch portrait paintings of the 17th Century. There was this guy, his name was Jamie Routley, and Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander went there and let him paint a portrait of themselves, which we used as requisites. So I went with them and took a look over his shoulder. He is really cool, about my age and he gave me lessons. Only after one lesson I was better, than I ever thought I could be.

CORBIJN: Did we ever talk about music? What is the sound that you are, uh, grooving to? (laughs)

DEHAAN: To be honest with you music is not really my strength. When I’m alone I prefer the silence. Anna, my wife, often shows me songs, to find out if I like them. But music never had that effect on me.

CORBIJN: What I always liked about music was how it can transfer you from one feeling into another feeling in like a very short amount of time. Way much faster than a movie for example. Music on and you are already somewhere else. That is what I liked, the possibility of escaping, especially when I was younger.

DEHAAN: You spent a lot of time with musicians, or?

CORBIJN: Yes, but only as consequence for my love for vinyl’s and music. I wanted to be a part of that world because it meant freedom to me – I was raised in a very religious community. As a teenager I learnt how to play the piano a little. And I play the drums.

DEHAAN: The drums?

CORBIJN: Yes, a little bit.

DEHAAN: Do you also play the conga? (James Dean played the conga)

CORBIJN: No.

DEHAAN: I do a little bit (in the movie).

CORBIJN: I saw that. It’s nice hitting things for money.

DEHAAN: Haha! How about boxing? Do you box?

CORBIJN: No. You?

DEHAAN: No.

CORBIJIN: Any other combat sport?

DEHAAN: I did Taekwondo, when I was very very young. I nailed it until the yellow belt. I was seven years old back then. But I have a degree in armed stage combat with knife, sword, dagger and epee.

CORBIJN: Do you have any dreams or aims? Would you like to direct one day or playing other characters?

DEHAAN: I don’t know if I want to direct. Maybe when I’m older. But I am very pleased with what I have, because I always wanted to be an actor. Also I can’t really concentrate on lot of things at the same time. I think I would have a lot of difficulties with being a director and still being a pleasant person to be around with.

Life” by Anton Corbijn with Dane DeHaan in theaters September 24th


Check out the HQ scans from the magazine below. Thanks so much to Kayla from Robert Pattinson LIFE for sharing them with me :)




 

And for those that don’t know the shoot that they used: it’s an INTERVIEW US 2014 shoot that Dane had, by Steven Klein. We have UHQ in our gallery for over a year, and today I added three photos that were retouched slightly differently (and used in INTERVIEW Germany). The shoot is iconic, so always a pleasure to remember it:




 

Dane DeHaan: read exclusive interview with Little White Lies

2015 – Little White Lies: Dane DeHaan

You can tell a lot about a celebrity from how they engage with social media. Some use it to boost their profile, others endorse brands or support worthy causes. Then there are people like Dane DeHaan, who prefer to treat it as a genuine extension of their personality, perhaps in the form of an as yet unanswered marriage proposal to @realDonaldTrump or sharing a photo of a particularly interesting snail.

There’s a serious side to the 29-year-old actor, of course, as evident in Chronicle, Lawless, Kill Your Darlings and now Life, director Anton Corbijn’s behind- the-lens look at James Dean. LWLiesspoke to DeHaan about playing Hollywood’s most enduring icon and why he’s happy doing things his own way.

LWLies: You’re fairly active on Instagram and Twitter. How do you think James Dean’s legacy might have been affected if social media was around in his day?

DeHaan: I really like social media because I get to use it on my own terms. I get to put up there what I want to put up there. It’s a good opportunity for me to let people in on the kind of person I really am. Compare that to when James Dean was around, his Instagram would have had to been completely controlled by the studio because it was a time when actors were kind of drafted by studios, so there image was not within their control. James Dean started working for a studio and he was cast as the cool, rebellious guy – he didn’t have any control over that. That’s the image people still have of him today. In a lot of ways, actors have a lot more control over their careers and their public image today.

Do you think it’s possible for an actor to become a James Dean level icon today?

I don’t know, I guess the equivalent now is having your own blockbuster franchise or whatever.

Aside from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is there a reason you’ve avoided that route?

Not really. I just think I would love for my career to be a slow burn. I have no desire to blow up and then fizzle out.

It seems the higher an actor’s social profile, the greater the risk. As someone in the public eye do you feel like you’re only ever on ill-judged tweet away from career suicide?

I mean I think about what I tweet and the photos I post, and I understand that what I do gives me a voice and people listen. Sometimes I try to do things for the greater good and others I just mess around and have fun. I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted anything that could potentially ruin my career. I hope not, anyway. But I don’t really feel the need to constantly update everyone, I just do it when I feel like I have something to say.

You’ve got a couple of films coming up with Cara Delevigne, who seems to do pretty well on social media.

Yeah, I haven’t spent much time with her yet but I’ll definitely be looking to get some pointers off her.

We imagine studio execs talk about stuff like social media followers a lot.

Fortunately that’s not really my side of the business, but I’m sure it happens a lot more often than people might think. I would hate to think how many casting sessions have come down to the number of Twitter followers someone has.

How would you react if a studio exec told you to get more social media followers?

That’s the great conundrum of our business. That’s what James Dean struggled with – he was an artist who wanted to work with the best in the industry to become the best in the industry, but at that time you were completely owned by the studio and sadly he never got that opportunity. In a way the system still works like that, it’s just a little different. I still consider myself an artist, I do this because I love acting, I love the work, but movies are big business and you have to acknowledge that. It will always be frustrating being an artist, trying to exist in a corporate world. Which is why I try and balance things between bigger studio movies and smaller independent movies. You know, movies like Life, where I’m gonna be given more freedom to learn and express myself. But I really don’t know what I would do if someone told me I needed more Twitter followers. I don’t even know what one does to get more. I’m just happy doing my thing.

 


Thanks to Laura from RobertPattinsonWordWide.com for sharing this with me. Head over to RPWW for the LIFE review from the Little White Lies!

Dane DeHaan as James Dean in LIFE (2015)

2015 – MOVIES.IE: LIFE interview with James Dean actor Dane DeHaan

Dane DeHaan admits that the very idea of playing his acting hero, James Dean on screen, was a “terrifying” idea.

Indeed, when DeHaan was first offered the role in Anton Corbijn’s Life – which focuses on Dean’s unlikely friendship with photographer Dennis Stock – he turned it down.

“James Dean is my favourite actor, so the idea of playing him in a film was a pretty terrifying thought. I had a lot of excuses at the time, but looking back on it, I think I was just afraid,” he says.

“I think it was just a fear-based decision to keep saying ‘no’ to the film. But luckily I have a lot of supportive people that I surround myself with, and the more I talked about it, the more I thought about what the film was about, and what the opportunity really was I realised that it was just my own fear that was getting in my way.

“I feel like I’m always telling interviewers that I want to pick the most challenging parts, the hardest parts, the parts I’m really afraid of, but when really the pinnacle of that thought came, I was like, ‘Oh, no thanks!’” he laughs.

“I had to realise that I was just scared and I had to practise what I preached, because that is what I want to do, but obviously I’m a human being, so my own fear gets in my way sometimes.”

DeHaan was at college when he first discovered Dean’s films and he was a huge influence on the young aspiring actor, just as he has been for countless others.

“I think he was one of the first to really act in a realistic way – the way that people act, or try to act, today,” he says. “There’s certainly the part about him that he only made three films, and two of the films are targeted towards a younger audience: East of Eden is for younger people, and Rebel Without a Cause is for younger people, so not only was he acting in a realistic way, but he was very much the voice of that generation.

“He was such an open, emotional, vessel, that people really felt for him and really related to him. And then he died. Rebel Without a Cause and Giant came out after his death, so it just left the world wondering, ‘what could have happened if he was still around?’”

 

He finally decided to take on the role after talking to colleagues and family who urged him to accept the challenge. “I sat down with the producer, Iain Canning, and he explained to me that to him, it wasn’t a biopic on James Dean, it was about how a normal person can be turned into an icon, which I thought was true and a really interesting topic.

“He also brought up the fact that so many young kids today don’t know who James Dean was, which to me is just a really sad thought, so if this film can inspire younger people to go back and get in touch with those movies, I think that’s a really wonderful and important thing.

“Then it was talking to my manager, and talking to my wife, and them just being like, ‘you like the script, you love the director, it’s a challenging part – these are the things you always say you want to do, so why aren’t you doing it?’”

Corbijn’s film, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, focuses on the brief, intense friendship between Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) then a struggling photographer trying to build a reputation with the Magnum agency, and the fledgling star wary of the studio controlled publicity machine.

Dean eventually allows him to take revealing, intimate pictures, including shots with Dean’s family on their farm in Indiana, which would launch Stock’s career when they are published inLife Magazine. Those images became some of the most famous photographs of the 20thcentury.

“Everyone knows that photograph of him in Times Square,” says DeHaan. “If they don’t know anything about James Dean, they know that photograph, and those photographs certainly helped him stand the test of time, and continue to represent what he represents to people today.”

After finally agreeing to do the part, DeHaan had four months to prepare. “The decision was like, ‘Okay, if I’m going to do this, I need to make sure I’m prepared and if I’m really going to be James Dean, the thing that I’ll need to do is I’ll need to gain some weight. I’ll need to look like him as much as possible, and I’ll need to sound like him as much as possible, so how long will it take to do that? And how long will it take to feel like I’m fully prepared by the time I show up on set?’

“I had about four months and it was plenty of time. I gained 25 pounds, I worked with a dialect coach, and I worked with a make-up person to help develop the look. It was a pretty full-on process.”

Despite those initial reservations, he’s very glad that he did take on the challenge of portraying James Dean.

“Yeah I did enjoy it,” he says. “I mean, the shoot was hard; It was during the polar vortex in Toronto. There were some days where we were shooting outside where the wind-chill was -35 degrees, so that part of it was tough.

“It’s crazy cold, and obviously it couldn’t look like it was -35 degrees, so we had to act like it wasn’t. It was fun. It was the biggest challenge of my life, absolutely, but also probably ultimately the most rewarding, as an actor. Not always easy, but looking back on it, it was definitely fun.”

DeHaan was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts. After working on stage and in television, he made his feature film debut in John Sayles’Amigo in 2010. His other films include Chronicle, Lawless, The Place Beyond The Pines, Lincoln, Kill Your Darlings, Life After Beth and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.


Source: Movies.IE

EXCLUSIVE: translated interview of Dane DeHaan for Vanity Fair Italy (2015)

2015 – Vanity Fair (Italy)

Thanks to my friend Stefano we have an exclusive translation on an interview that Dane had with Vanity Fair Italy (+ a small article about James Dean & an interview with italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi). Make sure to check it below, it’s a really nice read: Dane talks about LIFE, James Dean, acting and his relationship with Anna Wood


SUBTITLE

Since forever, he thinks he’s one of the greatest and in college he watched all his movies. However, Dane DeHaan never imagined he was going to be asked to play the role of James Dean on the big screen. But then he thought about it, did some research about the person he needed to bring back to life and he found out several things. So he accepted to take part to Life.

James Dean did not attend the premiere of East of Eden. They were all waiting for him to appear on the red carpet but he bailed out. This is one of the scenes in Life. It’s not just a biographical movie, considering that it also tells us about Dean through his relationship with photographer Dennis Stock, who wants to create a photo shoot for Life about that young actor destined to become a myth. In the movie, Dane DeHaan plays Dean. He is a teenager, no beard, delicate and frail, and he looks much younger than Dean, although he died at the age of 24 and Dane is 29 at the moment. However there is no lack of determination, and contrary to his colleagues, he’s still humble and can take things ironically. He laughs a lot and not to please someone else. He’s just enjoying it. For example he starts laughing when I ask him if he ever did the same by not showing up on a red carpet or if he ever thought about not doing it.

“At the premiere of Lawless at Cannes Festival, no one invited me because all other actors were more popular than me. However my agent bought me some tickets and I decided I was going to sleep on the producer’s couch. At that point they could only find me a place on the red carpet. So as you can see I don’t bail out, I’m more a barge in kind of guy.”

What was your opinion on James Dean before the movie?

He’s one of my favourite actors since when I watched his movies in college. It’s exciting to see someone acting like he did. Today it’s still what some people are trying to do: to fully immerge yourself into that character physically and emotionally, to do instead of pretending. It’s just that he was the first to do so.

How did you get the role?

They asked me to film a video. But I felt like I couldn’t do it so I said no. They contacted me again: “are you sure?”. I rejected the proposal again. But then the producer explained to me that it was not going to be a biographical movie and that it was about how he went from being an ordinary person to an idol. So I realized that I was afraid: I always wanted difficult roles that could challenge myself and now that the chance has come I tried to escape. After accepting, I had 4 months to prepare myself, and when I got on the set there was no time to be afraid anymore. I did everything I could, and if I had failed I wouldn’t have been able to complain about not trying hard enough.

What did you find out about him?

While doing my research, I realized that the 75% of what people told me was wrong. For example, many of them think that he used to put cigarettes out on his skin. Actually, he used to paint people doing that, but if you look at his shirtless photos, you can’t find any sign on his skin. They invented a myth of a crazy masochist.

The rebel image is actually true or just another false myth?

That picture of James Dean in Times Square under the rain with a cigarette in his mouth became an entire generation’s symbol. Maybe it would have never happened if he hadn’t die before he could actually tell who he was for real and if he actually felt like he was being represented by that image. I’m not saying he’s not a rebel, but he was more than that. To me, Dean was an artist that didn’t accept to compromise. He believed he felt like he needed to screw the world before the world screwed him. He worked hard to get into the Actors Studio. He succeeded. His third lecture was a monologue and Lee Strasberg destroyed him. He never came back: he couldn’t accept the fact that his talent was not being recognized properly.

And what kind of a person are you?

Responsible, very educated. In school, I used to have high grades.

Have you always wanted to be an actor?

Yes, since I was a little kid. At the age of 4 I started attending theatre courses. In high school I used to sleep on the desk to rehearse for the school’s show. I used quickly eat at a fast food and then I was away to meet up with another group of actors. In college I studied acting: at that point I wanted it to become my job.

It’s weird that you did not start working as an actor since you were a kid.

I just wanted to act, but I didn’t care about money. My parents gave me everything, I just had to pay for myself once I finished my studies. But if I could study as an actor without having to take care of the money, I would definitely do it for the rest of my life.

Unlike other actors who went to Los Angeles, you moved to NYC with Anna Wood, who you married later.

We met at the university of North Carolina, she was studying acting as well. Once we were done with the studies, we moved in together. I was lucky: I started to work right away, I was not earning that much, but was enough to pay my rent. I also lived in LA for two years and half and it helped me a lot with my career. But I feel like at home in Brooklyn. I don’t want to talk about work during my free time, it makes me go insane those who talk about what they are doing all the time. And in LA they are all like that.

What do you prefer to do?

I’d prefer to take my dog for a walk, to watch a movie, play golf, which is somehow a way to meditate for me: it frees my mind. Which not many people find exciting. This is who I am. If they say that a show is boring, I will probably love it. I also have an estate property and I enjoy cutting wood. But most of all, I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife.

She’s an actress as well.

It’s nice to come back and have someone who can confront you and who understands what you’re talking about. It’s hard to be an actor. Those who don’t work in this environment don’t understand. And someone would hardly accept that their partner has to work abroad for 2 months straight.

There is a problem when one comes back and the other one has to go. Isn’t it?

It’s hard to make each other’s schedule match sometimes. And because it’s very complicated, we are super happy when we get to spend time together. After all it’s pretty much the same thing that you can see in the movie when James Dean comes back home in Indiana. He knows he won’t get the same chance anytime soon, but he also knows that he has to live far from there to make his dream come true.

You got married in such a young age. May I ask you why?
I fell in love. In high school I was sure that it was never going to happen, I never met any girl who I liked so much to the point of marrying her, I didn’t know if love even existed. But then, 2 years later, I met her and I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Read More
Dane DeHaan as James Dean in LIFE (2015) new HQ still + article

Total Films 2015: A portrait of James Dean and the man who took portraits of James Dean.

DIRECTOR ANTON CORBIJN STARRING DANE DEHAAN, ROBERT PATTINSON, JOEL EDGERTON, BEN KINGSLEY ETA 25 SEPTEMBER

When the script for Life – the story of photographer Dennis Stock and his relationship with an unknown James Dean – landed on Anton Corbijn’s desk, it resonated at once. “For over 40 years, that’s what I’ve been doing,” says the Dutch director who, long before making Control and The American, plied his trade snapping musicians, most notably Joy Division, U2, Depeche Mode and REM. “That’s why I did this film,” he insists.
“I didn’t do the film because of James Dean.” Maybe not, but the aura around the Rebel Without A Cause star remains strong 60 years after he died, aged just 24, in a car crash. So much so that Dane DeHaan (29 but far younger looking), who worshipped Dean when he was in college, was “unbelievably nervous” about the role.
“I was really afraid of it,” he says.

“I think I said ‘no’ to the movie five times before I eventually realised I was operating out of fear, and I needed to put that aside and take this gift being handed to me.”
When he finally signed on, one of his first acts was to e-mail Sarah Rubano, the make-up artist who helped turn him into the Green Goblin for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. “I said, ‘Do you think you can make me look like James Dean?”’ She did. DeHaan wore a dark hairpiece and contact lenses to darken his piercing blue eyes, while Rubano re-sculpted his eyebrows. He even wore prosthetic ear lobes, “as my ear-lobes are connected and his weren’t and I felt like it would change my profile”.
As authentic as DeHaan’s work is, his is a depiction of Dean before Elia Kazan’s East Of Eden turned him into a star. Assisting that transition was Stock, assigned by Life magazine to shoot him in a now-classic editorial, played by Robert Pattinson. “You look at the photos of James Dean and you can see he was trying to elevate this guy,” he says. “He was obsessed with him. Unintentionally, it’s the most successful PR campaign ever! More people have seen his photos than his movies, I’d say.”
Google the pics and you’ll soon see the classic image of Dean, cigarette in mouth, in a rain-drenched Times Square, shoulders hunched in a black overcoat buttoned up against the squall. But there are plenty of others – practising ballet or playing a recorder – where “he looks nerdy and intellectual. He doesn’t look cool at all,” laughs DeHaan. “I think the whole collection of photos is pretty impressive… If you really look at all of them, it shows many sides of James Dean – not just what the Times Square photo represents.”

Scripted by Luke Davies, Life is not really a story about star-making, even if the film is peppered with Hollywood icons, from Judy Garland to Rebel Without A Cause director Nicholas Ray. “It becomes a film about two guys who become friends and the effect it has on each other’s lives,” says Corbijn. In the case of Stock, he’s shown as an absentee father who comes across as mildly dysfunctional, says Pattinson. “He was someone

It shows many sides of James Dean

who felt he couldn’t feel and couldn’t love properly and he felt he had almost a disability.” Corbijn loaned Pattinson a Leica before the shoot, which he used while in Morocco filming Werner Herzog’s Queen Of Desert, saying “I wanted Rob to become familiar with it as part of his body language.”
“It was a perverse pleasure, from my end, to drop [him] behind the camera instead of in front of it,” says Corbijn. For Pattinson, seeing life from the other side of the lens did indeed make a refreshing change. “It’s this weird power-trip, in a way,” he nods. “You can have this power over everyone else and you can hide. It’s such a strange art form.” Corbijn sees “parallels” between Pattinson and Stock, who somewhat lucked out by landing the Dean gig so early in his career. “I think he struggles to get accepted as an actor because of Twilight. He was very successful in that and it came quite easy to him, and people sometimes don’t want him to be that successful.”

While Pattinson’s presence may bring Twi-Hards into cinemas, DeHaan – who gained 25lbs to replicate Dean’s “soft, farmboy body” – hopes Life will inspire a revival amongst younger viewers, in particular for favourites East Of Eden and Rebel Without A Cause. “If they watch this film and go back and watch James Dean’s movies,” he says, “then I feel like it’s mission accomplished.” That’s the meaning of Life.





Thanks to ROBERT PATTINSON LIFE for scans!

Page 1 of 512345