Dane DeHaan and Jack Huston are two actors on the cusp of superstardom.
DeHaan is set to appear in the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man as Harry Osborn, the role that James Franco played a few short years ago. Huston, meanwhile, has a prominent role in David O’Russell’s follow-up to Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. The two young actors play off each other beautifully, along with Daniel Radcliffe and Ben Foster, in the new biopic about the Beat Generation of writers, Kill Your Darlings.
DeHaan plays the sexual enigma who draws the key figures of the Beat Generation on their artistic path. He is the film’s chilly “blond” who sexually and intellectually entices everyone, including a young Allen Ginsberg, to him. “It’s fun to play," DeHaan said in an interview with Xtra during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. “To be a seductress . . . is a really wonderful and fun thing.” And though DeHaan has played gay characters before, most prominently in HBO’s In Treatment, the role of Lucien, based on the man to whom Ginsberg infamously dedicated his epic poem Howl, had its own set of challenges. DeHaan says he looks for the most complicated material that’s going to stretch him as an actor, “and whether or not that person happens to be attracted to men or women doesn’t matter at all.”
If any actor in Kill Your Darlings has a daunting task, it’s Huston, whose job is to portray the literary icon Jack Kerouac. “We were lucky in the movie. He wasn’t the Kerouac that we know; he was 22 years old," Huston says. "He was still a student in Columbia University, so we had artistic licence to make the character a bit more our own.”
It’s obvious that Kill Your Darlings is a very special film to everyone involved. It was a labour of love that was shot by a first-time director who made it a vocation to take this personal, and very queer story, to the screen. “Everyone was there because they loved the script and they loved the project,” DeHaan says. “Love abounds on Kill Your Darlings."