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“I took that with me”: The Batman Star Paul Dano Credits Tom Cruise’s $262M Action-Comedy for Inspiring His Directorial Debut

"I took that with me": The Batman Star Paul Dano Credits Tom Cruise's $262M Action-Comedy for Inspiring His Directorial Debut

Paul Dano is a versatile actor known for his outstanding performances in movies and television shows. Dano was able to grab the public’s attention by playing the role of Dwayne in the critically acclaimed movie Little Miss Sunshine. Since then, Dano has never looked back, receiving praise for his performances in films such as There Will Be BloodPrisonersLove & Mercy, and much more. However, Dano is not just an actor; he is also a writer, singer, and director. But little did people know that the There Will Be Blood actor made his directorial debut because of Tom Cruise. 

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Paul Dano
Paul Dano

Paul Dano On Being Inspired By Tom Cruise

Dano co-starred with Tom Cruise in the 2010 action comedy film, titled Knight and Day. Dano played the role of Simon Feck, an inventor who created a powerful perpetual energy source. Dano’s portrayal of Simon was praised for his comic timing and for bringing a sense of vulnerability to the character. His performance earned him critical acclaim and helped propel his career to new heights. But the Little Miss Sunshine star was impressed by Cruise on the movie sets. 

In an interview, Dano revealed that he was stunned by the performance of Cruise, and his dedication to creating a movie, which is centered on audiences. Dano revealed that watching the Mission: Impossible star’s performance has truly inspired him and is imprinted well in his memory. 

“I have a really clear memory of watching Cruise work with the stunt team and I remember seeing how he considered the audience and the impact of the stunts on the audience and how passionate and rigorous he was about that. That was a real lesson. I had not been around that before.”

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Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Paul Dano On His Directorial Debut 

Paul Dano praised the Top Gun: Maverick star’s dedication to his work and marked that he has never seen anyone with the equivalent dedication as the Vanilla Sky superstar. The Love & Mercy star was moved to an extent after Cruise’s dedication that he decided to enter the field of direction. Dano made his debut as a director through the 2018 movie, Wildlife

“I had not seen an actor consider the audience and the impact of how the stunt and the cut of the camera would feel for the audience. And I took that with me. I would say most of the work that I have done isn’t about that relationship, but I think it’s fascinating and interesting to consider it in the right thing. I always think that the content lends itself to the form, and there’s a group of people, there’s a temperature and a vibration on set.”

Dano continued and shared his thoughts on working with the different teams on set, which collaboratively work as a team to deliver a good movie. The Escape at Dannemora star revealed his main focus when he is directing.  

“There’s the way the director works, there’s the way that the crew works. I mean one of my favorite DPs I worked with is Roger Deakins, cause his crew is so quiet. There’s like and it brings a focus, and I really appreciate that. And I know when I was directing I wanted it to feel like when my actor steps on set everything changes.”

Also Read: ‘I’ll probably show up’: Paul Dano Teases More Riddler in The Batman Sequels


Cruise’s dedication to his craft has been unbothered by time and surely possesses the potential to inspire many others. Dano’s inspiration from Cruise is worth noting and has been much appreciated by fans.

Dano’s Wildlife has performed well at the box office and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Source: GQ

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Written by Vivek Kumar

Vivek Kumar is a young, enthusiastic writer with a natural talent for expressing his thoughts through writing. Currently pursuing a major in Psychology, he is dedicated to sharing his critical writing with the world. Along with his passion for writing, Vivek is also an avid anime fan. He works as a content writer at FandomWire, having written more than 200 articles and continues to do so. His love for writing and deep understanding of his craft enables him to produce quality content consistently.