As far as dysfunctional movie families go, it doesn’t get too much worse than the Hoovers of the 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine.” But Paul Dano, one of the film’s stars, recalled an on-set story about how they worked to build that peculiar family dynamic.
Dano shared a story with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” how directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris suggested that the cast go on a family outing — in particular bowling and to grab food — in character. As they pulled their old VW van out of the driveway, however, things started to unravel.
“The second we pulled out of the lot to go on our excursion, Alan Arkin, playing the grandpa, said, ‘I have to pee,'” Dano said.
He then describes an argument between Arkin and Greg Kinnear, who plays the father in the film, insisting that Arkin’s character would have to wait until they arrived to use the bathroom.
“Arkin was like at the next red light, I’m getting out to pee. And Greg Kinnear ran the next red light, just because he did not want to give into grandpa, who clearly needed to pee just to piss him off,” Dano said.
Dano, who was 20 at the time of filming, played a teen who chooses to take a vow of silence. But he was in stunned silence anyway at what he just saw from his fictional family members.
“Greg, I’m sure, did it safely, as safe as you can run a red light,” Dano added.
“Little Miss Sunshine” also starred Abigail Breslin, Toni Collette and Steve Carell and was an indie comedy darling about a middle-American family traveling across country to compete in a children’s beauty pageant.
Watch Dano reminisce about the moment above.