Love and Mercy (2015) Paul Dano
Credit: Francois Duhamel

According director Bill Pohlad, actor Paul Dano very much went that extra mile to portray ’60s-era Beach Boys member and songwriting legend Brian Wilson in the recent biopic Love & Mercy.

“We knew we wanted to use the original vocal tracks, that was no question,” says the Pohlad. “But we also were hoping — and it turned out to be true — that Paul could actually sing. We were able to use his voice for those times when Brian is rehearsing and then, in certain cases, the recording sessions will start with Paul’s voice and we blended it with Brian’s voice and the rest of the Beach Boys as the song plays out. He is very committed. It was a lot of milkshakes and all that kind of thing in getting ready for the role. Of course, you can’t always predict exactly where the weight’s going to go on an individual person, so we were doing a little bit of scrambling in the immediate days before shooting with sit-ups and all that, just trying to mold it in the right way. But he really did a lot to prepare.”

Love & Mercy costars Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, and John Cusack as the middle-aged Wilson. The film can be downloaded and digitally streamed starting Tuesday and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD, Sept. 15.

You can see Dano as Wilson in a deleted scene from the film, above.

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