Why Dane DeHaan's kiss with Daniel Radcliffe isn't the only reason his career is taking off

Dane DeHaan on his on-screen kiss with Harry Potter, working with Ryan Gosling and his upcoming performance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

When Kill Your Darlings premiered in Sundance this year, the chatter was not about how director John Krokidas had crafted a credible drama about the Beat writers as students. Or that it gathers  together one of the most exciting young casts of 2013. It was that Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter himself – kissed a guy. Moreover, that guy just so happened to be Dane DeHaan, one of Hollywood’s hottest stars-in-waiting.

The 27-year-old has already made a huge impression – this year alone he’s featured (briefly) in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, played Ryan Gosling’s grief-stricken son in The Place Beyond The Pines and starred as a roadie in the concert/video hybrid Metallica: Through The Never – impressing the band’s drummer Lars Ulrich so much, he presciently dubbed him: “Everybody’s favourite film star 10 years from now. Or maybe five.”

“I’d like to still be working 10 years from now – that would be great!” DeHaan says, when I relay Ulrich’s comment. “But I can’t look that far into the future.” He doesn’t need to. Next summer, he’ll line up alongside Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, playing Peter Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn, the character played in the previous Sam Raimi-directed trilogy by James Franco.

We’re sitting in a half-empty hotel bar, just  before the evening rush, DeHaan coolly commanding a corner seat. He’s certainly handsome enough for Hollywood – sandy blond hair and magnetic blue eyes that have already drawn comparisons with a young Leonardo DiCaprio. On screen, he makes a vivid impression every time he appears. In 1930s gangster film, Lawless, he was memorable as a rickets-suffering bootlegger; likewise in Chronicle, as the teenager with special powers.

But it was HBO drama In Treatment that truly marked DeHaan as one to watch, playing the volatile Jesse, an adopted teen full of anger who has taken to selling prescription drugs and sleeping with older men. Little wonder he had no apprehensions (“none whatsoever”) when it came to kissing Radcliffe for Kill Your Darlings. “It’s not a scene about people that are apprehensive about kissing each other. It’s a scene about people that finally get to kiss each other.”

With Radcliffe starring as Allen Ginsberg, Ben Foster as William Burroughs and Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac – long before they’d write Howl, Naked Lunch and On The Road – DeHaan plays the volatile, virile Lucien Carr. “He’s the man  behind the curtain,” says DeHaan. “He’s the one that introduced everyone to each other. He’s the one that was like, ‘Listen, this is what we’re doing and this is what we stand for.’ He was the whole catalyst for the Beat poet movement.”

Golden boy: Dane DeHaan Golden boy: Dane DeHaan

Set in 1944, and based around a real-life murder that Carr was involved in, the film wisely plays down some of the more extreme elements of his personality. “There were stories about him going onto the dock of a ship and sinking it, so he could feel what it was like to be on a sinking ship. He’d go to a restaurant and order the most expensive steak raw just so he could throw it in the waiter’s face. Or he’d be in a bar, drinking wine, and chewing off the glass in his mouth to get a reaction from those around him.”

Born and raised in Allentown, in what he calls “normal upper middle-class suburbia”, DeHaan recognised his own past in the story too. “I could certainly relate [it] to the time in my life when I went off to college,” he says, “being around artists for the first time.” Studying at North Carolina School of the Arts, it made a huge change from his Pennsylvania childhood, where neither of his parents – both white-collar professionals working in technology and business – had much interest in the arts.

It was during his time in North Carolina that he met actress Anna Wood, now his wife. She briefly featured in Chronicle, after DeHaan suggested the producers consider her when they were searching for an actress, but he’s uncertain about working again with her. “There’s something really nice about keeping my professional separate from my private life, and be able to go home… she really keeps me feet on the ground and brings me back to reality. And I wouldn’t want that to go away. That’s what I’d be protective over.”

He’ll surely need that stability next year, when The Amazing Spider-Man hits. He spent six months, on and off, shooting the project – longer than he’s ever taken on a film. “That’s like six Kill Your Darlings!” he laughs. “It’s luxurious, though. You get to take your time. And the sets blow your mind. You don’t need to use that much imagination because they make everything so real.”

Aside from hanging out with superheroes, he’s got a small role in Atom Egoyan’s upcoming Devil’s Knot, a drama based around the West Memphis Three – the teenagers controversially imprisoned for killing three eight-year-old kids. Then there’s Life After Beth, co-starring Aubrey Plaza – his first real attempt at comedy. “There was something really terrifying about it,” he says. “But those are the ones I take, the ones I’m worried about.”

DeHaan, it seems, likes to push his own buttons in the run-up to a role. “I’m scared before every job I take. That’s a main component of why I do things – to scare myself and to challenge  myself.” In many ways, he looks to be heading the same way as Ryan Gosling, his co-star from The Place Beyond The Pines. “I would take a career like Ryan Gosling’s!” he grins. “Sure – why not? He maintains his integrity.”

We’re winding up, when we return to that scene with Daniel Radcliffe. Did he ever break character and double-take, thinking ‘I’m kissing Harry Potter’? “I never had that moment, ever,” he says, solemnly. “It was always, ‘I’m Lucien Carr and  I get to kiss Allen Ginsberg – and that’s a wonderful thing.’” And what did his wife think? “Oh,” he winks. “She thinks it’s hot!”

‘Kill Your Darlings’ opens on 6 December

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect