Paul Dano Reveals What It's Like to Play 'Beach Boys' Icon Brian Wilson

Dano plays the Beach Boys' co-founder and troubled pop icon in the new movie, "Love & Mercy."
3:11 | 06/01/15

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Transcript for Paul Dano Reveals What It's Like to Play 'Beach Boys' Icon Brian Wilson
So much buzz about "Love and mercy," the highly anticipated new movie about the beach boys' co-founder and troubled pop icon Brian Wilson. He's played in his early days by Paul Dano. We have a clip. Here he is in the studio producing the band's classic album, "Pet sounds" along with a few pets. ? Yeah. ? No. It's like a gasp in between. Woof, woof, woof. ? Cut! I think we got it. Chuck, mix that in with the sound of the train going by at the end. All right. Chuck, you think we could get a horse in here? Paul Dano, well played. Thank you for being with us this morning. As we mentioned you play Brian Wilson in his early days, John Cusack plays him in his later years. And it's been said that John wanted to meet Brian but it was professionally strategic for you not to meet Brian initially. Yeah, I mean, one, Brian seems like one of the most sort of open and raw spirits there is and so I just didn't want to fall into the idea of trying to mimic him in any way. It was sort of about the spirit of the music so I spent months listening to the studio sessions, learning to play the piano, learning to try to sing and then I felt like I could meet him because I was already in touch with his spirit. You are a musician. You sang and played guitar in bands before. You've been on Broadway. What was it like trying to re-create the legend of Brian Wilson? At first the idea of it is scary but it turned out to be the most fun I've ever had acting by like miles. Why? I just -- it's the music. You know and that was the quickest way to the character, Brian is in the music and to wake up every day and sit down at the piano and try to play "Surf's up" or "God only knows." Some of the best. To wake up and find yourself in the character -- it was such a gift to also work with so many musicians, hang out with so many cool people. Jusuch a complex story. Such a complex man in his younger days. How would you describe Brian Wilson, the younger man? Oh, Brian is a complicated guy but he's one of the more beautiful people that I've ever come in contact with and I really do think that he had a gift and was sort of -- he still had his kid with him like I think when we become adults we often build up an extra layer of skin to sort of help deal with the world. I don't think Brian ever really was able to grow that extra layer so he's just one of the most open sort of beautiful spirits that I've ever known. When you and Brian finally met what was that moment like? It was so good. It was so good. You know what, he had heard me sing at that point. I was so nervous to hear him say -- he said, Paul Dano, you sing good and I will never forget -- I mean -- I wanted to cry. It was like the nicest thing I've ever heard. I can see it in your face. Well played and well suggest, I'm sure. I can't not wait to watch Paul Dano, "Love and mercy" opens nationwide June 5th. Don't miss it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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