“This is sort of a Warp 10 for me. I’m not scared. I am thrilled. I know it’s going to go well, but I don’t want to think about it too much because it’s almost overwhelming. I lived in Virginia for awhile, growing up, and I listened to the Opry. So many wonderful musicians have played there you can’t name them all. Anyone who is anyone in country music. It’s the highest honor,” he gushes.
Hall got to see some of his favorites, like Emmylou Harris, at the recent Gershwin Awards presentation to Paul McCartney at the White House (airing on PBS July 28). “Being in the room with the President was amazing enough, but there were also Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, the Jonas Bros. – they’re not my cup of tea, but I know the first daughters like them – Jerry Seinfeld, who was hilarious…and Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters. He was the surprise, playing ‘Band on the Run’ and adding a lot of energy. It was such a spectacular thing.” Hall, a double amputee whose work on behalf of the disability community has taken him to the White House before, says he and his wife Judy just happened to have McCartney to themselves for a minute as they rode a White House elevator together.
“I introduced my wife, and he sang to her — ‘Hey, Judy’” Hall imitates. “She was doing cartwheels.”
THE SPICE OF LIFE: Paul Dano, the “There Will Be Blood” and “Little Miss Sunshine” actor who continually turns out performances in unusual indie fare between major feature roles, has the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz “Knight and Day” actioner, plus “The Extra Man” comedy – with Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly and Mrs. Cruise, Katie Holmes — coming out this summer. And he says he also has high hopes for “For Ellen,” in which “I get to play a hard rock ‘n’ roller who is a little bit at the edge.” The latter drama, completed this spring, is from filmmaker So Yong Kim, who did “Treeless Mountain” a couple years back.
As for what’s next, how about Paul uniting with girlfriend Zoe Kazan? They’ve worked together before, after all. “Sure,” he says. “I don’t see a lot of reasons not to. We both tend to like the same things, so you never know.”