I think the idea is to try and understand everything about the characters and where the character is coming from, from their point of view, why they say what they do. And not, 'Oh, but I would never say that. Why does the character say that?' But then making it as personal as possible.

Paul Dano

Paul Dano

Profession: Actor
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

I don't like tight pants on guys.

I go down to the dive bar around the corner when I go out. I don't go to the showbiz parties.

Let's say honorary favorite New Yorker is John Lennon, and favorite real New Yorker is Biggie, because he's the best.

I'd always been fascinated by people who allow themselves to be so rude and irritated and foul-mouthed and hostile, but usually you can sense there's something vulnerable beneath them - a shield they use to protect that vulnerable side. Finally, when they expose that soft spot, it's kind of touching.

In 'There Will Be Blood,' my character was someone who was an actor himself almost. He had a rehearsed quality about him. He was a performance artist in a way.

As people, no matter what we are doing, your whole body is living and breathing.

I like a restaurant called Bruci, and there's some really nice people who work there and good food. They change their menu a lot, so maybe that's what keeps me coming back. I never know what I'm going to get.

When I'm not excited, it makes acting very hard for me.

The way Hollywood works, you're never sure if their first thought is to make a great film and honor the material or just another business property.

Sometimes I think your intellect can get in your way as an actor or an artist. When you come from a world of improv and comedy, you're able to let it flicker and fall out.

I volunteered at a homeless shelter in preparation for 'Being Flynn,' and when I'm walking along the Bowery, that's the first thing that comes to mind. That's a nice memory.

I would not take a girl to a club on a Thursday. I would not take her to a really noisy, swanky restaurant.

I don't want my learning curve to be stunted by just all of a sudden doing work all the time and not being careful about the work that I'm doing.

There's a lot of people that I would love to work with. There's a lot of different kinds of parts I wanna play. As your career progresses, you hope that you get some more opportunity or some more choice.