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Questions and Answers With Dane DeHaan

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Dane DeHaan can't avoid the hype that's already building for his upcoming roles in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Metallica Through the Never" (and will forever be connected with his entrance onto the feature scene with 2012's "Chronicle"), but "The Place Beyond the Pines" is key to his breakout. After all, it's not every 26-year-old actor who can be mentioned in the same breath as Academy Award nominees Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling (though he never shared scenes with the latter).

Not that the boyish-faced actor is often recognized in person. While talking to NextMovie ahead of this Tuesday's DVD release of "Pines" — "director Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to "Blue Valentine" — DeHaan revealed that he had recently been on a plane, surrounded by people watching the movie. According to him, not a single one of them gave him a knowing side-eye.

"People just don't assume that the guy next to you is gonna be the guy in the movie," he said. "It's funny. People don't realize it, because it's not something that anyone would expect to happen."

Read on for more on DeHaan watching people watch his movies, his resemblance to young Luke Skywalker and the one fact about himself that he really, really wants to set straight.

What was it like not working with Ryan Gosling?
Really great, thank you.

Were you a big "Blue Valentine" fan? What made you want to get involved with this movie?
Yes, I was a big "Blue Valentine" fan. I really loved that movie. And I thought the performances were just unbelievably real, which is certainly what I always strive for in my work. And then reading the script, it was really interesting and definitely an ambitious story, and one that I really wanted to be a part of. Especially knowing that Derek was going to be the captain of the ship. And the part was cool and the part was challenging. So I guess the combination of all those things are what made me what to be involved.

The movie has a really interesting three-act structure, with three separate but connected stories. Yours is the last segment. Did you not get to see the other parts until the movie was released? What was that like, since you're just in the end of it?
Um, what do you mean by see it? Like watch the other parts?

Yeah, watch the other parts. Did you get to see the whole script beforehand?
Yes, so I read the whole script before I auditioned for it. But once I got the role, I kind of threw out the first two-thirds because my character doesn't know anything about those two-thirds of the movie. So it's really not my job to know about those two-thirds of the movie. So I just focused on my part and my character and creating that person's life.

Focus Focus

When you got to see the finished product, what did you think of your part in comparison to the other two? Is your part your favorite part of the movie?
No, I remember the first time I watched it, I was so into it and I was like, "Man, this movie is so awesome. This is totally my kind of movie." And then an hour and a half later I was like "Oh, s**t, that's right, I'm in it."

Did you meet with the rest of the cast, the ones you didn't directly work with? Did you meet Ryan Gosling, or just for promotional duties afterwards?
Just promotional things afterwards. I didn't want to meet him, because [DeHaan's character] Jason doesn't know who his dad is and Jason almost holds his dad to this mystical place in his mind where he thinks that if he can find him, it will be the solution to all of his problems. He's like this great, amazing person. I went into this with a huge amount of respect for Ryan and I didn't want to meet him because I wanted to keep him in that place in my mind. I just wanted to form that relationship and I wanted to still be a person that really wants to meet him and really thinks he's amazing, not a person that's met him. That wouldn't help me at all. So, yeah.

That's a cool take on it.
Yeah. He left the day I got there.

The three-act structure maybe threw some people off in theaters. Do you think this movie plays better at home or on a big screen? Where would you prefer to watch it?
I feel like that's a trick question.

No, no trickery.
I don't know, I was just on an airplane and I was surrounded by people watching it on an airplane and they seemed to enjoy it. Hopefully it's just like a good film that people like, you know?

Oh, that's weird. Did you watch it? Or did you just watch them watch it?
No, I just watched them. I wouldn't say I watched it or watched them watch it. But I was just very aware that it was going on around me while I was just trying to read things.

Were other people aware that you were there?
I don't think so. That's happened to me before where I'm on plane and the guy next to me is watching "Chronicle." People just don't assume that the guy next to you is gonna be the guy in the movie. It's funny. People don't realize it, because it's not something that anyone would expect to happen.

Yeah. Like...why would that ever happen?
Exactly. It's not like people are watching a movie and then be like, "Alright, I wonder if these people look like anyone around me."

That must be so surreal. Are you ever tempted to be like, "Hey guy, what'd you think?"
No, no temptation to do that.

I get the feeling you're not one of those who likes watching their own work too much.
I'm fine watching it, you know? I think it's important to watch it. But I'm not the kind of person that seeks out other people's opinions on my works.

Do you ever Google yourself?
My parents have Google Alerts on me. So they'll often times send me an e-mail and be like, "Hey did you know this?" And then I'll be like, "Well, it is, like, my life. So yes, I did know that." Or , "that's not even true. I don't know where you read that." I have Googled myself, yes. But my parents really have Google Alerts on me.

Focus Focus

Have they ever forwarded you anything just outrageously wrong?
Oh yeah, things that are outrageously wrong like all the time. No offense, things are hardly ever completely right. So many times they'll be like, "Oh my God, did you know this?" And I'll be like, "That's not even true."

They're like, "Why didn't you tell me?"
Why don't you just ask me? Why don't you listen to what I say? And not believe the things you read on the Internet all the time. Like, it doesn't even have my height right on the Internet, ya know?

How tall are you? Set the record straight.
I'm 5'10". Let it be known.

That'll be the headline: Dane DeHaan Wants You to Know He's 5'10".
Dane DeHaan Wants You to Know He's 5'10," thank you. I'm gonna hold you to that.

Alright. So, a lot of people, speaking of the Internet, say you look like a young Mark Hamill. Have you gotten that before?
Mark Hamill?

Yeah, "Star Wars."
No, not really. I usually get a young Leonardo DiCaprio. At least my face.

Which do you prefer? Do you think you have a doppleganger somewhere?
I'm not so sure I believe in dopplegangers. I just prefer to be Dane DeHaan.

Focus Focus

I like that. Still, some people say you look like Mark Hamill and that you should be in the next "Star Wars." Are you a "Star Wars" fan? Would you do that?
My dad is a huge "Star Wars" fan. Like he still collects action figures. I don't know, it might be really cool. Like with the whole "Spider-Man" thing, I left really surprised at how fulfilled I was at the experience and what a luxury it is to have that much to make a movie. And ultimately what I love to do is act. I never approach any project because I am a fan of the project, I approach it looking at it in terms of the work and whether or not the work will be fulfilling. And what I now know after doing "Spider-Man" is that you can do a big, tentpole , huge budget movie and still leave completely fulfilled. So, if the opportunity was presented to me and I felt like I could do that job and grow as an actor and leave fulfilled as an actor then yeah, I would do it. Just like any project.

And also, your dad's head would explode.
Well, if my dad's head would explode, then I wouldn't do it.

Yeah, you gotta preserve that.
Because I don't want my dad's head to explode.

And lastly, using the formula of your first pet's name and the street you grew up on, what would your porn name be?
That would be Bradley Hanover.

"The Place Beyond the Pines" will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 6, 2013.

Also check out: Film.com's review of "The Place Beyond the Pines"

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