It was night and day on “Knight and Day” for Paul Dano. The 25-year-old talent, who has an actor’s actor reputation with his string of art house pictures and highly-regarded mainstream fare – like his performance in “There Will Be Blood” – found himself in a whole new world working on the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz June release.
“Knight and Day” is “the first film I’ve been in that has big action pieces and stunts – the kind of film I grew up watching,” he informs. “One of the things I enjoyed about it is that Cruise is one of the harder-working people I’ve ever been associated with. If something isn’t right, you’re going to do it again. I love that attitude. You want the best going up on screen.” Dano won’t talk about his character. “It’s one of those, the less you know, the better. The movie looks quite fun and funny. I think it’s going to be good,” he adds, speaking of the picture that has Cruise as a possibly-insane super spy.
Right now, Dano’s enjoying another round of critical applause for his performance in filmmaker Dagur Kari’s newly-opened “The Good Heart,” which reunited him with his “L.I.E.” cast mate Brian Cox. They’re two strong performances in a film that’s been called strange. Dano’s character is a homeless lost soul taken under wing as an heir apparent by Cox’s hard-living reprobate of a dive bar owner. “I went to a screening here in New York, and the audience was laughing a lot and seemed quite taken aback toward the end,” Dano relates.
He also has the social comedy “The Extra Man” with Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly and Katie Holmes coming out this summer. If he has his way, he says, he’d like to keep going back and forth between big and small movies. “It’s good, it keeps me interested and curious and, you know, sort of using different muscles. You take something different away from each experience.”