Dane DeHann has been busy doing promo for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 . When he was interviewed by Vanity Fair he was asked about his role as James Dean in Life, if he felt any pressure taking on such an iconic role and amongst other things about a certain ballet pic that he recently tweeted.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
You’re playing James Dean next—that’s a fairly iconic role, in its own right.
It’s an interesting thing, because when I told people I was playing James Dean in a movie, they would just tell me something about James Dean. And most of the time they would be wrong. Because he’s such a myth! So it became about reading as many books as I could find and comparing and contrasting what’s in those. He’s always been one of my favorite actors—I’ve had a poster of him on my wall since I was in college. For me too, there were things I thought about him that I found out weren’t true. Like he was mythical to me as well, but I had to make him human.
As a fan of his, did you feel pressure taking the role?
I had a lot of trepidations about doing the film. I said no to it a lot, before I decided to take it on. And ultimately what made me want to do it is that I wanted to show people who he really was. One of the things that’s really interesting about the film is that you see how a normal person can be turned into an icon. And also, I want to introduce younger generations to James Dean. Because unfortunately a lot of kids don’t know who James Dean is, and that’s a scary thought to me. I want teenagers to watch this movie and then go and watch James Dean movies!
The film follows his work with photographer Dennis Stock [played by Robert Pattinson], right?
Yeah, it’s like two weeks of his life right before East of Eden comes out, and Dennis Stock gets permission to do the first ever photo essay of him, for Life magazine, and they go back to New York and they go to his hometown in Indiana right before the East of Eden premiere.
I saw that you retweeted one of Dennis Stock’s photos of Dean, where he’s taking a ballet class. Tell me that’s a hint toward a scene in the film!
No, we didn’t do that part of it! But he used to take dance class with Eartha Kitt! I’ve had some dance class in my day. I’ve done tap, I’ve done ballet, I’ve done modern dance—I’m a classically trained actor, so dance is part of that training, just to get us into our bodies and make us feel free to move. Not that I’m the best dancer in the world, but I have taken a bunch of classes!
Check out the FULL interview over at VanityFair.com