Paul Dano co-starred alongside Zoe Kazan (his real-life girlfriend and fellow actor), in the romantic comedy Ruby Sparks (2012) and appeared alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Jake Gyllenhaal in 12 Years a Slave (2013) as part of an ensemble cast.
Paul Dano’s Biography
Paul Dano is an actor of extraordinary versatility who excels at portraying both dark and complex roles, as well as warm, relatable ones. Starting on stage and screen as a child actor, Dano quickly found success on film and television with standout supporting turns such as an episode of Smart Guy and family drama The Newcomers; then went on to work in more films such as indie darling L.I.E (2001) before his breakthrough role of Dwayne Howie Blitzer from Little Miss Sunshine garnered critical acclaim and earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination as well as critical acclaim from audiences everywhere else!
Dano established himself indie cred with roles in Rebecca Miller’s prep school drama The Emperor’s Club (2002) and the teen serial killer movie Taking Lives (2004). Dano took center stage opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s California oil saga There Will Be Blood (2007), earning an Oscar win and undisputed box office success; later they would reunite in The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005) for an award-winning drama together.
Other notable work in the 2010s for Jaden was his performance as an inmate surrounded by monsters in Cube (2011) and as an FBI agent in Matt Reeves’ revisionist superhero epic Batman (2022), alongside Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Michael Caine, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Wildlife (2018) marked Dano’s directorial debut and was written and co-starred with Zoe Kazan, whom he met while filming Little Miss Sunshine. The film earned mostly positive reviews at film festivals. Two years later he returned to cinema screens as David Sweat in Showtime miniseries Escape at Dannemora alongside Patricia Arquette and Benicio del Toro. Additionally, he won his role of Burt Fabelman from Steven Spielberg’s semiautobiographical coming-of-age flick The Fabelmans which was loosely inspired by his father.
Paul Dano’s Filmography
Paul Dano began his acting career at age six, appearing in theater productions. At twelve, he made his Broadway debut as part of John Tillinger’s revival of Inherit the Wind alongside George C. Scott and Charles Durning. Additionally, he has made guest appearances on several TV series such as Smart Guy as well as several episodes of The Sopranos.
After appearing in numerous supporting roles, Dano first came to prominence for his portrayal of Howie Blitzer in the 2001 film L.I.E. His performance earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination and garnered critical acclaim; subsequent roles included Rebecca Miller’s The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2004); Richard Linklater’s fast food nation (2006); Matthew Aselton’s low-budget indie feature Gigantic (starring Zooey Deschanel).
As early as 2010, Meek made his big-budget studio debut in Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz as well as Meek’s well-reviewed historical war thriller Cutoff, both directed by Meek. By 2012 he had taken part in Rian Johnson’s commercial and critical sci-fi success Looper (2012), alongside Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt; it more than doubled its $30 million budget!
Dano returned to acting after taking a brief hiatus, appearing in indie dramas Ruby Sparks (2013) and Prisoners (2013) before playing tortured suspect in the Showtime miniseries Escape at Dannemora (2018) which earned him nominations for both Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Furthermore, Matt Reeves plans on casting him as The Riddler in his forthcoming blockbuster film The Batman (2022).
Paul Dano has made himself one of the most exciting actors of his generation with his unique blend of sensitivity and complexity, allowing him to portray even the most distasteful characters with grace and conviction. Paul Dano’s success on both small and big screens proves this fact; we cannot wait to see what comes next from Paul! He is married to actress Zoe Kazan with whom he shares their daughter. Paul currently resides in New York City; his heritage encompasses Rusyn/Carpathian, Slovenian/Czech, and Swedish as well.
Paul Dano’s Personal Life
Paul Dano and American actress Zoe Kazan have been in a relationship since 2007. They met while working on an off-Broadway play together and quickly began dating after. Since then they have welcomed one child. Additionally, they’ve starred together in multiple movies and TV shows where their on-screen chemistry is spectacular, while off-screen they remain close as ever.
The pair has garnered several award nominations for their work. Both actors earned Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globe nominations for their roles in 12 Years a Slave, Prisoners, Love & Mercy as well as Critics’ Choice and Academy Award nominations for Little Miss Sunshine, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and Fast Food Nation respectively.
Dano is also an accomplished writer. He has contributed scripts to films like Ruby Sparks and Wildlife; Wildlife marked his directorial debut. Furthermore, he adapted Richard Ford’s novel of the same name into an adaption called Wildlife; writing his initial draft himself before giving it over to veteran screenwriter Paul Kazan for revisions.
Dano is experiencing rapid success as his career expands rapidly. Recently he has appeared in critically-acclaimed movies such as The Fabelmans and Youth as well as Daniel Radcliffe’s Swiss Army Man in which they star together. Dano currently has numerous high-profile projects lined up and his success should only continue.
Steven Spielberg will cast him in The Fabelmans as Burt Fabelman – an homage to Spielberg’s father – slated for release later this year. Additionally, he’s due out as the supporting character The Guilty and as Riddler in the box-office blockbuster The Batman later this year. Additionally, in 2018 he played David Sweat in the Showtime miniseries Escape at Dannemora.
Paul Dano’s Awards
Paul Dano made his breakthrough performance as Beach Boys singer-songwriter Brian Wilson in 2022’s critically acclaimed biographical film Love & Mercy, earning Golden Globe and Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, along with winning the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actor. Additionally, he earned Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics’ Choice Movie Award nominations. Later that same year, Dano voiced one of the characters in Okja’s box office hit animated film release; later still, in 2018’s Showtime limited series Escape at Dannemora (2018) alongside Patricia Arquette.
After his success on television, Dano continued his collaborations with some of Hollywood’s premier directors. He appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-winning drama There Will Be Blood (2007) as well as indie films Being Flynn, Ruby Sparks, and 12 Years A Slave. Dano joined an all-star ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Viola Davis Sarah Paulson, and Benicio Del Toro for Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners (2013).
Wildlife (2018) marked his directorial debut. Based on Richard Ford’s novel and featuring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as its stars, it premiered at Sundance before going wide via IFC Films. Following that performance he will next be seen voicing The Riddler in Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022), as well as portraying Steven Spielberg’s father in drama The Fabelmans (2022).