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
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
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.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine