By Cindy Pearlman/Big Picture News Inc.
NEW YORK — Dane DeHaan is the reason people tweet with the hashtag #GetontheDaneTrain.
But the actor instead credits his “Amazing Spider-Man 2” co-star. “Jamie Foxx is the reason it exists, but it’s fun. All aboard the Dane Train,” DeHaan jokes.
You can get aboard the Dane Train on Friday with the release of the zombie comedy drama “Life After Beth.”
“It’s a low-budget zom-com-rom-dram,” he says with a chuckle.
DeHaan plays Zach Orfman, who is trying to navigate the sudden death of his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza). When she unexpectedly returns, she doesn’t think she has died. “She’s a transitioning zombie and she has rage issues,” he explains.
The Allentown, Pennsylvania, native did the project to shake up his filmography. “It was time to do a comedy and do it with some of my favorite comedians,” he says. “I thought that would be a really cool experience and actually had visions in my mind of being just as funny as them.”
Then reality set in. “I tried to be funny, it was obviously not working, which was fine,” DeHaan says. “This isn’t about the zombie apocalypse. It’s about one person in a relationship with a zombie, so I could be the regular person in a very heightened circumstance.”
His characters have gone through a lot of life circumstances, including Harry Osborn, who turns into a peeved Green Goblin in the “Amazing Spider-Man” franchise. “It’s 31/2 hours of makeup for the Goblin and another hour just to put on the suit. It has to be wrenched on, but I love it. The minute you put on that suit, you are the character.”
In a career ranging from HBO’s “In Treatment” to “Chronicle” and “The Place Beyond the Pines,” DeHaan has played both good guys and bad. “I don’t judge,” he says. “Is anyone good or bad? It’s the circumstances that make us who we are. But if you really want to know, playing bad is harder.”
Next up for DeHaan is playing James Dean in “Life,” based on the screen idol’s friendship with Life magazine photographer Dennis Stock.
“He’s one of my favorite actors, so it was an honor to play him, and I read as much as I could about him. I found there are all these versions of Dean,” he says. “That’s what made it interesting. You had to ask yourself: Who was the real Dean?”