A new biopic on Brian Wilson is coming out, Love & Mercy. I will likely dread seeing this, as is the case with almost any artist biopic, but I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to rock biopics and I do like John Cusack, who I read was set to star as the troubled genius behind the Beach Boys and the puppet for a succession of hangers-on, charlatans, and certainly well-intentioned healthcare professionals and adoring musicians. Then I saw this still from the movie. “That’s not John Cusack,” I exclaimed in my head, “it’s that creepy guy I don’t like!” I had to look him up to be sure: Paul Dano, a talented actor with a knack for playing troubled, annoying guys, but an actor worthy of the shotgun nevertheless.
It turns out Dano plays Young Brian Wilson, which I’m sure he’ll be good at, subtly projecting even Young Brian’s obvious anxieties. The more I studied this still from the movie, however, the more I started thinking about the Pros and Cons of this casting decision. I’ll leave it to you to get inside my head—and to share your thoughts on the casting of Dano and Cusack as one of the greatest songwriters of the 1960s.
Check out the whole cast here. I don’t know who the guy is who’s playing Mike Love, but I’m counting on him to deliver!