‘As a kid, I’d cry every day seeing homeless people’: Paul Dano on money, fatherhood and being shaved by Brian Cox

With the release of his new film Dumb Money, the endlessly versatile actor talks about turning his back on blockbusters, struggling to lie – and exploring his dark sideThere is versatility in acting and then there is Paul Dano.

No sooner had he been seen last year as the masked, panting, clingfilm-wrapped Riddler, who dispatches his victims with hammers and bombs in The Batman, than he turned up as the placid, moon-faced parent based on Steven Spielberg’s own father in The Fabelmans.Dano has more than two decades of full-blooded, often deranged performances behind him, such as the wheedling preacher in There Will Be Blood and a suspected child abductor in Prisoners.

He has also been fragile and huggable as the silent, surly teen in Little Miss Sunshine, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy, and Pierre in the BBC’s War and Peace where, as historian Simon Schama put it,…

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