Photo by CHAD GRIFFITH
FRESH AIR: Paul Dano, is probably best known for his performance in “There Will Be Blood” as a teenaged evangelical preacher. Imagine being in your early 20s and working on that film with director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day Lewis. Dano was only 12 when he had a part in the Broadway revival of “Inherit The Wind” starring George C. Scott. Dano also co-starred in the films “Little Miss Sunshine,” “12 Years A Slave” and portrayed Brian Wilson in the film “Love & Mercy.”
Now at the age of 34, he’s directed his first film, called “Wildlife.” The screenplay, which Dano co-wrote with his partner, Zoe Kazan, is adapted from a Richard Ford novel of the same name. “Wildlife” is about a 14-year-old old boy, Joe Brinson, who has recently moved with his parents to a small town in Montana. He hasn’t yet made friends, and he’s looking to his parents for a sense of home and stability. But his father, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, loses his job and his sense of purpose. The mother, played by Carey Mulligan, takes a part-time job to help make ends meet.
Meanwhile, it’s wildfire season, and the father decides to join the men fighting the fire, which leaves his wife and son to fend for themselves during the indeterminate period he’ll be gone, and that changes everything. Just as fires can get out of control, so can people’s lives. Here’s the scene in which Joe Brinson comes home from school to find his father breaking the news to his mother that he’s leaving them to fight the wildfires. MORE