If you’ve seen actor Dane DeHaan in any movie, then you know how much he physically resembles Leonardo DiCaprio. But, most of all, he clearly has the dramatic acting skills that DiCaprio had in his early years before superstardom brought more pretentious roles arguably beyond his scope. For DeHaan, he’s already following the usual track to movie superstardom by playing the son of a troubled father.
Playing dramatic isn’t something new to DeHaan if you go by his movie credits so far. He’s been in everything from “Chronicle”, “Lawless”, to “Kill Your Darlings” in just the last year. These were small roles, though nonetheless memorable ones in the way DiCaprio was when acting in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” or “The Quick and the Dead” 20 years ago.
Now that DeHaan is playing a pivotal role in “The Place Beyond the Pines”, will he inevitably end up on the same DiCaprio path? While some of DeHaan’s projects have been occasionally in the indie circuit, he’s finally signed on to a huge mainstream franchise that may change everything. Now that he’ll soon play Harry Osborn in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, he’ll likely be recognized the minute he steps out his door by this time next year.
Whether he can change the same trajectory will be interesting to see in an industry that seems to create similar-looking replacements ending up with the same fates. Occasionally, we’ll have newer generation actors who seem to transcend those problems and end up in very successful film niches. Regardless, it’s always a blockbuster film that inevitably changes everything.
With DiCaprio, “Titanic” changed not only the films he did after, but also how he approached acting. It wasn’t any sense of laziness that Marlon Brando once had after being deemed the greatest actor of his generation. Clearly, DiCaprio deeply researches all his roles to the core.
The problem has been more DiCaprio wanting to play older characters that don’t match up to his still youthful sounding voice and visage. Ironically, 27-year-old DeHaan may have the same problem based on his playing a teenager in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” It may be why DeHaan should stick to playing younger characters well into his 30s since he’s already going to dominate that market very soon.
Yes, it seems the real similarity between DeHaan and DiCaprio is more in looking and sounding young beyond the age of 25. Even if that’s not any problem when utilized correctly, fans of DeHaan no doubt wish he’d stay a little under the radar for a while longer before the mainstream card comes calling.
Nevertheless, going mainstream could potentially bring a pairing of DeHaan playing son to DiCaprio–with DiCaprio once again pretending to be 20 or 30 years older than he really is.