Sunday, January 27, 2008

Daniel Day-Lewis

widely considered one of the greatest actors of his generation. Daniel Day-Lewis rarely takes on roles, but when the man commits, he makes it his life. Most famously known for an unprecedented dedication to roles, on set DDL will literally stay in character for the entire shooting of his films. All worthless if the performances were alright, but there's no acting, he actually is the person on screen.

Towards the commitment, several entertaining examples...

in 'My Left Foot' while "Playing a severely paralyzed character onscreen, offscreen Day-Lewis had to be wheeled around the set in his wheelchair, and crew members would curse at having to lift him over camera and lighting wires, all so that he might gain insight into all aspects of Christy Brown's life, including the embarrassments. He broke two ribs during filming from assuming a hunched-over position in his wheelchair for so many weeks".

'In The Name Of The Father', Daniel "spent stretches of time in a prison cell. He also insisted that crew members throw cold water at him and verbally abuse him"

for 'Gangs Of New York' "took lessons as an apprentice butcher, remained in New York accent on and off-screen (impossible when you hear him speak as Daniel Day-Lewis), while filming his dedication even threatened his life when he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He refused to wear a warmer coat or to take treatment because it was not in keeping with the period"

and finally in 'Last of the Mohicans' he "carried a Kentucky rifle at all times during filming and learned how to skin animals."

Even if I agree some of the movies he does are mediocore, his performances are always hauntingly brilliant and make the films memorable. One only hopes he continues to sign on and not delve into retirement, move to Florence and become a shoemaker (as he did in the 1990's).

Check him out here in the trailer for his latest "There Will Be Blood" (he is in every scene of the over two-hour movie, and still you want more)

or as we all remember 'Bill The Butcher'

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