Paul Dano Opens Up, Katie Holmes Doesn't at Extra Man Premiere


The Extra Man premiered Monday night at Sundance, featuring Paul Dano as an aspiring writer who makes a new life in Manhattan with his artistic dreams and a mild crossdressing fetish. Helping out is Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline), the eccentric, reactionary "extra man" of the title whose job is to accompany older women to social events around New York City. Adapting a novel by Jonathan Ames, directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini make a triumphant return to the character-driven comedy that won them a Grand Jury Prize here in 2003 with American Splendor yet painfully eluded their 2007 adaptation of The Nanny Diaries; they draw one of Dano's best, most nuanced performances to date, yet can't quite get the same out of Katie Holmes, who co-stars as the object of the young man's affection at his magazine job. Which might not have been their fault; even at Monday's premiere, Holmes wasn't about to join in the jokey mood Dano and Kline engaged with their inquisitive first audience.

When one viewer asked Holmes her impression of playing the film's "closest thing to a real person," Holmes stepped up to the microphone for a frustratingly banal, pre-programmed reply. "This was just a great movie to work on. It was really fun, and I loved shooting in New York City. I loved working with these actors and these directors. So it was... great!"

And... scene. Thanks for coming, Katie! Dano, meanwhile, played along with another viewer's inquiry about the joys and/or pleasures of crossdressing -- of which there is plenty, and not without some research, according to the actor.

"The first time I did it was really shocked and relieved that i still felt like a man and wasn't aroused," Dano said in his customary slow, droll delivery. "The hard part was just starting to put it on -- that first go at it. And then it was OK. Leggings feel quite nice. Then I tried on some of my girlfriend's clothing beforehand. She actually liked that, so that was nice. And... yeah." And just like that, the Zoe Kazan/Paul Dano relationship just became about 500 times more intriguing.

More on The Extra Man as Movieline rounds up some reviews in the days ahead...

[Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images]