In this Q&A, Dane DeHaan discussed his first reactions to Cianfrance’s script for ‘The Pines,’ choosing roles that terrify him and why that’s a good thing, how well he meshed with Cianfrance, his upcoming role in the rebooted “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and more.
To start off, how did you get involved?
Well, I read the script when I was in Cape Town shooting “Chronicle” actually. The script was sent to me and it said take a look at the role of AJ (which Emory Cohen eventually took), but after reading it, the character whose soul really reached out to me was Jason. Even though in the script he's described as a really buff half-Hispanic kid, obviously I'm neither of those things, but there's something about him that really resonated in me. And so I didn't make a tape for AJ, I just made a tape for Jason and I sent it and kind of took that gamble and I guess Derek really responded to the tape. Then I met with him on my layover back to LA after shooting “Chronicle” and then all of a sudden, he wanted to work with me just as much as I wanted to work with him, so that was great.
That's so weird. I couldn't picture you in the other role.
Sure, I couldn't, it wasn't the one that I responded to either.
Maybe, Cricket is certainly unlike that as well, from “Lawless.” I do play a lot of very complicated individuals, but they're different kinds of complicated.
How was it working with this cast?
It was really amazing. Derek creates such an amazing, viscerally real environment, where he really gives us permission to dig deep and bare our souls and entrust in one another, so it becomes an extremely rewarding and collaborative process with everybody, you know? Like truly across the board, it was an amazing process.
Did you do anything specifically to prepare?
Of course, I always do a whole lot to prepare for roles. Aside from the things I always do, like for this one, I build my bike. That BMX bike in the movie I built myself and learned tricks on it, because I wanted the bike to almost be Jason's best friend, for him to have a really real relationship with the bike and I thought the only way I could really have that come across on-screen if it was like a baby that I made almost. And just stuff like that, we hung out as a family a lot in our house and went through walks in the park or went bowling and one time Eva made me watch her get a pedicure and just put me through things that like a mother probably put her son through. Just sitting and waiting… Aside from breaking stuff down and normal character work that I always do, I always try to find some actual thing I can actually do that will help deepen my performance.