Dane DeHaan

Dane DeHaan“I don’t think it’s really up to me to tell people what the bear is…”

Dane DeHaan has garnered quite a fan following, becoming one of the film industry’s most sought after actors of his generation.  From his critically acclaimed performance as Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings to his turn as Green Goblin Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, DeHaan has demonstrated a penchant and aptitude for taking on diverse roles.  His latest is featured in director Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers and a Bear, a darkly complex love story set in a small North Pole town.

We sat with the actor at a beachfront venue in Cannes, the day after the laudable Two Lovers and a Bear was screened at the Director’s Fortnight.  Currently sporting dark hair for his role in Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, DeHaan spoke to us about the message behind Two Lovers and a Bear.  “Honestly, I don’t even know that the movie shows love in a good way.  But I think it shows the power of love, and I think that is an interesting thing to talk about.  And definitely the message of a movie has become a really important thing to me in choosing projects I do,” he says.  “This is a movie I did for myself.  It’s a movie that I really enjoyed the entire experience of, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

The core premise of Two Lovers and a Bear is a love story that strays into genre-bending themes and abstract ideas, including one where DeHaan’s character Roman has a special relationship with a bear.  “I know when I was filming the movie I was convinced that Roman could talk to bears.  And now when I watch the movie I think, ‘Oh, maybe Roman can’t talk to bears,’ I’m not really sure… I think the bear is up for interpretation and I think that’s the way it should stay.  I don’t think it’s really up to me to tell people what the bear is,” declares DeHaan.

Filming near the North Pole playing a character who may or may not speak to bears may bring with it many challenges for an actor to face, yet DeHaan claims that this hasn’t been his most challenging role to date – this distinction belongs to his portrayal of James Dean in Anton Corbijn’s Life.  “Every role has its challenge, but that was probably the most challenging, daunting, taxing,” he says of playing James Dean.  “[James Dean is] not only a real person, but a person that was really a hero to me.  Like a person I really looked up to and admired, and I had a lot of preconceptions about him that I had to get rid of.  And yeah, it was a lot.”

Playing famed roles such as James Dean and the Green Goblin has contributed to DeHaan’s own rise to fame, a phenomenon he graciously accepts.  “I try to accept it as what goes along with me achieving my dreams.  There’s been times where I’ve gotten in my head about it, but that doesn’t feel good so I just kind of go along with it.  It’s like if someone wants to take a picture with me, it’s easier to and more stress free to take five seconds and let them press a button on their phone,” he remarks.  “I’ll just be like, ‘Ok take a picture and move on with your day.'”

His film industry success so far has led to more work, and more work leads to more time away from home.  “Up next is summer vacation.  I haven’t really stopped making movies for around two years and I just need to be home.  Just need to take some time for myself and chill out.  I’ll probably make a movie in the fall, but I’m not exactly sure what yet,” says DeHaan.  “I love what I do and what I do is sometimes really demanding,” he explains.  “There’s a personal sacrifice that I think can go along with achieving artistic goals.  I think that’s kind of what Life was about.  But I still remain so grateful.  I wouldn’t give this up.  So, that’s why sometimes you have to be like, No, I’m not making a movie, I’m going to go home now.  I’m going to be at home, spend time with my wife and take care of that part of my life.'”


Our review of Two Lovers and a Bear

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