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DeHaan: James Dean more than rebel

Dane DeHaan is to play James Dean in a new biopic: Photo © DeHaan: James Dean more than rebel Photo

Dane DeHaan has said he wants to show that James Dean was so much more than just a rebel.

The 28-year-old Kill Your Darlings star - who is nominated for Bafta's EE Rising Star Award - is to play the icon of cinema, who died in a car accident aged just 24 in new biopic Life, directed by Control's Anton Corbijn.

Dane admitted: " It's a big thing, it's a big responsibility. James Dean is one of my favourite actors and I feel a very big responsibility to honour him and the person that he was, in this film."

He added: "What inspires me about James Dean is not the person he was but the actor he was. He was such a talented actor. And when you go back and watch his films, the way he's acting and his freedom and his believability and he just throws himself into it and lives in the moment. He's doing everything that a modern day actor aspires to be, and that juxtaposes all of his movies with old school actors.

"That's what's cool to me about James Dean. Not the iconic figure that he's been turned into, and what everybody thinks of when they think of James Dean and his rebellious nature - it's the actor he was, that's what appeals to me about James Dean."

Dane - who made his name starring as Jesse in the third series of psychiatric drama In Treatment - has also starred in True Blood and Lawless.

Last year he appeared alongside Daniel Radcliffe as Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings, focusing on the college years of Alan Ginsberg and his fellow beat poets.

With the James Dean biopic in the pipeline, a role as Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and zombie rom com Life After Beth due out this year, Dane is on the verge of being catapulted to stardom.

He said: "It's great when people respond to the work that you do so strongly that they want to give you a shot at winning an award for it."

Dane - who is up against Lupita Nyong'o, Lea Seydoux, Will Poulter and George MacKay for the rising star award - has been encouraging his fans to vote for him on Twitter.

But he admitted: "I was kind of apprehensive about joining Twitter, but when I finally did I've come to really enjoy it and I enjoy the freedom.

"It's fun to get in touch with fans. I love when they send me drawings and stuff. It's a really good way of getting your voice out there but doing it on your own terms."

:: Dane DeHaan is nominated for Bafta's EE Rising Star Award, which is open to the public vote at

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