Actor Paul Dano.
Photo by Stephen Lovekin
© 2011 Getty Images
Image courtesy gettyimages.com

On Friday, I visited the Pocono Community Theater to meet Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Miss Sunshine) and watch Being Flynn, a new film starring him and Robert De Niro. At AMP Magazine we favor live theater over film, because live theater provides a more organic experience, but we were happy to made an exception for Paul, who wants to support local movie theaters.

During both our interview and the Q&A session after the film, Paul struck me as a humble person who’s still getting accustomed to celebrity status. A Monroe County native, he performed in both Broadway and off-Broadway theater before beginning his film career in earnest. He talked about working with Robert De Niro–“One of the greatest actors we’ve ever had,” he told me. Paul described the first time he met De Niro to work on the movie: “He opened the door in his bathrobe and gave me a big hug.”

The movie Being Flynn is based on the memoir of the real Nick Flynn, entitled Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which Paul referred to as “an amazing piece of work.” The action of the film involves Paul’s character, Nick Flynn, meeting his father Jonathan Flynn, played by De Niro. The young Nick Flynn struggles to find meaningful work–any work, actually–and encounters his until-recently absent father at the Harbor Street Inn, a facility for the homeless. Nick is just trying to survive, find love, and make sense of his father, while the enigmatic Jonathan talks about his upcoming award-winning novel and sleeps in the street. Paul says the film’s subject is a universal one: “Are you becoming your parents?” The film has its happy moments, but don’t expect to see any weddings at the end. The atmosphere of the film is very close to life; there are ups, there are downs, and many things don’t work out perfectly.

The film will still be showing through Thursday at the Pocono Community Theater, so reserve your tickets now.