Paul Dano is a busy and interesting guy. When a person works a lot, one could be forgiven for assuming that some of that actor’s projects might be a little lightweight—a cameo here, a not-particularly-dense little TV show there. That’s not Paul Dano. Recent acting credits include the tense Showtime miniseries, Escape At Dannemora, which earned Dano an Emmy nomination; Okja, Bong Joon-Ho’s anti-capitalist, adorable mega-pig story; Swiss Army Man, an emotional, unexpected film perhaps better known as the Daniel-Radcliffe-Farting-Corpse-Movie; and Love & Mercy, an elliptical little marvel that told the story of Brian Wilson at two different stages in his life.
But in addition to making time for things like having a family and living a life, he also found room in his schedule to write and direct 2018’s Wildlife, an intimate coming-of-age drama in which Carey Mulligan gave one of the years’s best performances. It’s subtle and smart, showing great restraint on the part of Dano, who allowed the film—and Mulligan—plenty of room to breathe without sacrificing beauty or power.
We’ll say again: He’s a busy guy. And now he’s also the freakin’ Riddler. Riddle us this, Paul Dano: Is a hot dog is a sandwich?
The Takeout: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Paul Dano: Well no, but I’m sure you could call it one.
TO: Why is it not a sandwich?
PD: Because it’s a hot dog. It has its own name. A sandwich can be many things, but a hot dog’s a hot dog.