Click here to listen to the interview.
I started my conversation with Paul Dano with the obvious question, what was it about Richard Ford’s book of the same name that made him want WILDLIFE to be his feature film debut. As with all his answers, Dano replied thoughtfully. Even moreso when we moved on to the parallels between his own life and that of his protagonist, Joe, who is starting to see his parents as people with flaws as he watches their marriage disintegrate.
We also covered how Dano, who co-wrote the script with his life partner, Zoe Kazan, using what I call fraught silences in place of Ford’s prose, and the collaborative process he and Kazan used; Carey Mulligan’s Oscar™-worthy performance; Mulligan’s response to an audience member about her character being less than perfect, and what that says about the sort of female characters in current media.
We finished up with what Dano discovered to be the most exciting part of directing.
The film stars Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould , and Bill Camp. Dano directed from a script he co-wrote with Zoe Kazan, and his previous work includes LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, and LOVE AND MERCY.