Dane DeHaan plays Ryan Gosling’s son in The Place Beyond the Pines, but don’t expect the two to share quality onscreen time together. (We’d say more, but we don’t want to spoil the plot.) DeHaan did spend plenty of offscreen time with Eva Mendes, who plays his mom, to get into the role, however. And there was some bowling involved. We spoke with DeHaan about getting cast in Pines, beefing up for Spider-Man 2, and playing board games with his Kill Your Darlings co-star Daniel Radcliffe.
Originally, [director] Derek Cianfrance wanted you for the part of Bradley Cooper’s son, A.J.
I didn’t want to be A.J. I wanted to be Jason, so I put myself on tape for him as Jason. I just learned today he thought I was arrogant for doing that! [Laughs.] I guess I can see how it would be perceived that way. But it was just that Jason truly resonated with me, and I knew I wouldn’t be as passionate about the project if I were A.J. But I didn’t think anything would come of it. Jason’s described as a super-buff half-Hispanic kid in the script, and I’m neither of those things. So I was like, “I think I have a way into this guy,” so I made the tape to see what happens. It was kind of a gamble, but it paid off, I guess, yeah.
You’re not super buff now, but you’re trying to be for your role as Harry Osbourne in the next Spider-Man.
I’ve actually gained, like, ten pounds! I look a million times better with my shirt off than I did two months ago …
Which I’m sure your wife is totally happy about …
Yeah, sure! That’s what it’s all about. And it’s about having the stamina and the strength to do a movie like that. It’s the longest shoot I’ll be doing, and I just want to be ready to do it.
Does that mean you’re planning to eat all these nuts and fruit we have here in front of us? Is this for your diet?
Well, I can eat these [the almonds], but I can’t eat those [the bananas]. See, the almonds are the only thing I actually asked for. I eat every two hours. It’s a lot of protein and vegetables, very little carbs, no sugar. And as long as I keep food in my body, for my body to burn, that’s the goal, because I’m naturally a very thin person, and I naturally have very little fat on my body, and if I’m not constantly eating, my body wants to keep the little bit of fat on my body and it’ll start burning the muscle.
If you have that fast of a metabolism, can we switch?
Yeah, let’s do it! Let’s switch! [Laughs.] For the next five months, okay? That would be awesome. Andrew [Garfield] and I have a person who makes all of our food for us, and that’s what we eat. I’m on the exact same diet and regimen that he is.
It’s the Spider-Man diet!
And now it’s also the Harry Osborne diet. [Laughs.] We could do a diet book together. But in general, I don’t think it’s an uncommon practice for someone doing a movie like this to undergo something like this. It’s my first time. I’ve worked out before, but I hadn’t had much success in changing the way I look, because my metabolism’s so high, and it’s my first time seeing proven results. I started out at 135, and I’m 145 right now, and that’s the most I’ve ever weighed, and it’s really exciting to me.
When do you start? How much more weight do you have to gain?
I’m pretty much there. I’m pretty much ready to shoot. I’m totally good to go. I feel like I’m ready to be Harry Osborne. It’s not about becoming super bulky. It’s about becoming fit. Harry Osborne, he’s a trust-fund baby. He probably has personal trainers. He probably has someone making his food. He’s going to look like he works out, so I have to look like I work out — but I don’t have to look like Christian Bale as Batman. It’s not that extreme. I just look a lot better naked.
You get to smooch Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings — is this a kiss worthy of Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards?
That is what we want to win. I would love to win it. I think it’s an awesome kiss, first of all. I think it’s a really beautiful scene, and a beautiful kiss, and I think it’s about time two dudes won Best Kiss anyway, so let’s do it! It’s time for two dudes to win. It would be super fun. Dan and I got so close shooting that, and we’re like super good friends now. We’re proud of the movie, and we’re proud of the kiss. We want a lot of people to see the movie, because we’re proud of the message it conveys.
How close did you guys get?
My wife and I had a “staycation” at Dan’s apartment — but that was after the movie. That was just for fun. That was just because we’ve gotten super close, so we had a staycation in December at the Radcliffe residence.
At least it wasn’t before the movie. That could have been awkward.
That would be intense! “Hi, for two weeks, I’m moving in with you!” [Laughs.] “Hi, I just met you, but you have a really nice place, so I’m going to live here, but I promise it’s for the movie!” We also spent New Year’s Eve there. For, like, all of December, we just spent all of our time with each other. He’s incredibly intelligent and incredibly nice and incredibly talented. He does this for all the right reasons. And we’re both total acting nerds. So our two personalities, we happened to get along super well. We watched some movies, we watched some football, and we played a lot of board games. We both love board games. We played Cards Against Humanity. Have you played that?
What is that?
It’s awesome. Have you ever played Apples to Apples? It’s like that, but extremely inappropriate. It’s, like, unbelievably inappropriate. You ask a question, and whoever puts down the most offensive answer wins. And we burned through the entire deck and two extra packs in one night. Like, you ask a simple question, “What is the meaning of life?” And the answer would be something like, “You’re going to kill yourself in a pool of dead babies.” Something like that. [Laughs.] It’s really fun and a good time. Check it out!