Elizabeth Banks is still in awe of how “mind-blowing” Paul Dano is in Love & Mercy.
The blonde actress worked opposite the 31-year-old actor in the biopic about Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson, which was released in 2015. While they co-starred in the movie alongside John Cusack as the future version of Brian, Elizabeth and Paul never appeared in any scenes together as he played a younger version of the musician. That didn’t stop her from admiring Paul’s performance though.
“He’s mind-blowing,” she gushed to Collider. “The film takes place in the ‘60s and the ‘80s, and they shot all of the ‘60s first, and then they shot the ‘80s. So, me, John Cusack and Paul Giamatti showed up five weeks into filming. The whole crew had already been there the entire time, and they’d done all of this work in pre-production. We were the last kids to the party for this movie.
“So, we got to set and all anyone could talk about was Paul’s performance, how amazing he was, and how he was channelling Brian Wilson. There is nothing to make you feel more insecure when you walk onto a movie set than the entire crew being like, ‘I don’t think you guys are gonna top that, I’ll be honest with you. I guess we can keep going, but Paul Dano just killed it. We’re good. We’re done.'”
He may have appeared a natural, but Paul was nervous at the prospect of singing on screen. He still doesn’t understand how or why director Bill Pohlad had so much trust in him, and Paul didn’t even have to sing or play guitar to win the part.
“He said, ‘No, I believe that you can,”’ Paul recalled of Bill’s response. “That was almost a red flag. But then, I started working on it for a while, and Brian’s piano player worked with me.”
– Cover Media