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Cover Boy: Paul Dano

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I guess the main purpose of clothing, for me, is so that I’m not naked,” says Paul Dano, best known for playing Dwayne, the sullen, black-clad, willfully silent son in last year’s indie darling Little Miss Sunshine. “I’m very low-maintenance.” The 23-year-old New Yorker is currently in his final few semesters as an English major at the New School and lives with his friends in the East Village, a neighborhood he describes as “fashionable and eclectic” (though he doesn’t consider himself part of the hipster crowd. “I don’t like tight pants on guys,” he says). For fun, Dano plays guitar in a rock band called Mook and collects music T-shirts, often wearing them to ruin. “I get attached to things,” he says. “I have this pair of pants that I’ve pretty much worn every day since February.” When asked to describe them further, he elaborates, “I don’t know what they are, really. They’re not jeans; they’re not dress pants. They’re just, like, blue pants.”

He’s a little more articulate about his choice of upcoming movie roles, including the young Evangelical preacher he plays in Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, There Will Be Blood (which opens in December), and a wild thing in Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, slated for release in early 2008. “There’s always something that I can relate to in these characters. In Little Miss Sunshine, I played a slightly darker character in a very funny film, and my character in There Will Be Blood is completely different, but I guess you could use the word edgy to describe him, as well. It’s really an instinctual, gut feeling that draws you to a character.” His fashion instincts also seem to be developing, perhaps prompted by this cover shoot. “I don’t normally like getting dressed up, but when I go to events, I like to look put together. I’ve got to say, getting in a nice suit feels good.”


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