Paul Dano burst onto the scene with a largely silent role in “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) winning the Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actor and reaping an Indie Spirit bid for Best Supporting Actor. He then went head-to-head with Daniel Day Lewis ...
Paul Dano burst onto the scene with aÂ largely silent role in â€œLittle Miss Sunshineâ€ (2006) winningÂ the Criticsâ€™ Choice Award for Best Young Actor and reaping anÂ IndieÂ Spirit bid for Best Supporting Actor. He then wentÂ head-to-head with Daniel Day Lewis in â€œThere Will Be Bloodâ€ (2007) earning a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. And he was featured in the 2013Â Best Picture winner â€œ12 Years a Slave.â€ Will this talented character actorÂ score an Emmy nomination for playing Count Pierre Bezukhov in the limited series â€œWar & Peaceâ€?
Letâ€™s consider the pros and cons ofÂ hisÂ reaping a bid.
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Critical praiseFollowing his rave reviews for last yearâ€™s Beach Boys biopic â€œLove and Mercy,â€ Dano was as lavishly praised for â€œWar and Peace.â€Â Verne Gay (Newsday) noted:Â â€œDano joins a long, illustrious line of Count Pierre Bezukhovs (Henry Fonda, Anthony Hopkins) and brings something fresh to the role. As a character, Bezukhov is principled, self-aware and utterly bewildered by the world around him. Dano also makes him human and relatable.â€Â Robert Rorke (New York Post) observed,Â â€œBest of all is Dano, the rare American actor who can truly disappear into a character. He makes you root for poor, foolish Pierre from scene one.â€ AndÂ Daniel Fienberg (The Hollywood Reporter) commented, â€œAs Pierre, Paul Dano begins as a wishy-washy buffoon and evokes sympathy and infuriation on his slow journey.â€
Key characterâ€œWar and Peaceâ€ is the story of Pierre and, throughout the eight episodes, Dano is front and center delivering aÂ subtle and complex performance. As with â€œLove and Mercyâ€ â€” where he shared the role of Brian Wilson with John CusackÂ â€” when Dano is absent from the screen, you miss him.
Oscar snubDano was tipped as a strong Oscar contender for his featured roleÂ in â€œLove and Warâ€ but was snubbed by academy voters. Might their TV counterparts remedy this oversight by recognizing him?
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CompetitionThe recent Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor was one of the most competitive in recent years. Three-time Tony champÂ Mark RylanceÂ prevailed for â€œBridge of Spiesâ€ overÂ four formidable rival nominee: past winner Christian Bale (â€œThe Big Short), Â rising star Tom Hardy (â€œThe Revenantâ€),Â two-time also-ran Mark Ruffalo (â€œSpotlightâ€ and veteran Sylvester Stallone (â€œCreedâ€).
The same can be said of this yearâ€™s Emmy race for Best TV Movie/Limited Series Actor. Frontrunners include Bryan Cranston (â€œAll the Wayâ€), Benedict Cumberbatch (â€œSherlock: The Abominable Brideâ€), Idris Elba (â€œLutherâ€),Â Tom Hiddleston (â€œThe Night Managerâ€), Anthony Hopkins & Ian McKellen (â€œThe Dresserâ€),Â Oscar Isaac (â€œShow Me a Hero),Â Wendell Pierce (â€œConfirmationâ€), Courtney B. Vance (â€œThe People v. O.J. Simpsonâ€) andÂ Patrick Wilson (â€œFargoâ€)
AgeAt just 32 is Dano too young to contend in this category? Yes, James Franco was able to score a nomination at age 24 for â€œJames Deanâ€ but the average age of contenders in this category over the past 15 years isÂ 52.
TimingLifetime and The History Channel partnered onÂ both â€œWar & Peaceâ€ and the remake of the classic â€œRoots.â€ The latter aired in late May right before Emmy voting while â€œWar and Peaceâ€ ran in February.
Name recognitionWhile he has never failed to impress, Dano, has stayed away from popcorn flicks. Is aÂ lack of name recognition holding him back?Â It might be time for him to join the Marvel Universe!
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