Dan Dunne
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Dan Dunne

Half Nelson

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About Him

Living… somewhat of a double life. When Dan is not at the school where he teaches he can be found in his unkempt Brooklyn apartment, hiding from creditors to whom he owes money and passing the time watching TV and smoking cigarettes. But when he’s teaching, he becomes a whole new person: energetic, excitable and inspiring.

Visiting… his drug dealer after hours. When Dan isn’t teaching or coaching basketball, he spends his time getting out whatever angst he needs to with alcohol and drugs – particularly crack cocaine.

Profession… history teacher at a Brooklyn junior high school. Dan doesn’t just want his students to recite the bare facts of history, he believes that they should know about causes, consequences and meaning. Either as a history teacher or a basketball coach, Dan can inspire even the laziest students into attention.

Interests… left-wing political theory. Dan doesn’t try to hide his leftist allegiances. He is and always will be an idealist at heart.

Relationship Status… single, but still reeling from a bad break-up. Things gets even worse for Dan when he runs into his ex, Rachel, only to find out that she’s getting married. “I tried the rehab thing,” he explains, “I tried it. But it didn’t work. Didn’t work. It works for some people. My ex-girlfriend is getting married. That’s how it works for some people. Right?”

Challenge… getting himself clean and preventing his disadvantaged students from succumbing to a drug-addled fate. Dan wants to lead by example for his students, but this jaded teacher can’t seem to clean himself up. It’s only when he sees his favorite student, Drey, getting involved with a drug dealer named Kevin that he decides it’s time to try something new.

Personality… idealistic, witty and deeply sad. Dan sees the world as a grim place, and he’s trying to make it better by teaching the next generation how the world works. But don’t misunderstand him: Dan is no perfect savior. He’s got demons of his own to tackle before he can help anyone else out.

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