Little Miss Sunshine’s Paul Dano describes the in-character rehearsals that prepared him to play Dwayne

In an interview with GQ, Paul Dano described the particular challenges he faced while portraying Dwayne on Little Miss Sunshine, particularly in the scenes where he’s still practicing his vow of silence. Dano said that he had to practice to make it appear as if his character was participating in the family’s dynamics and conversations without speaking. After all, most teenagers are not used to expressing themselves exclusively non-verbally.

Dano said, “I tried to experience the world a little bit like that — to communicate without speaking and using the notepad.” Although Dwayne has taken a vow of silence, he sometimes jots down brief answers to his family’s questions with a pen and a notepad he carries around with him. However, many of his family’s attempts to communicate with him warrant no response at all, beyond a snarky facial expression or an eye roll.

Dano also shared that he and the rest of the cast did some fun role rehearsals to help him develop his non-verbal communication skills. They would get in the van and go bowling or to the diner and he wouldn’t talk. Certainly this practice helped Dano perfect his role as Dwayne, who is incredibly expressive without uttering a single word for most of the film.

https://www.looper.com/1060447/little-miss-sunshines-paul-dano-details-the-in-character-rehearsals-that-prepared-him-to-play-dwayne/ Little Miss Sunshine’s Paul Dano describes the in-character rehearsals that prepared him to play Dwayne

Charles Jones

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