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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In Honor Of - Daniel Day-Lewis

Yes, he's insane. 

He's been called the world's greatest living actor. And while Al Pacino might have something to say about that, people aren't too far off. Of course, others will say that it shouldn't take a great actor two or three months to live as a character in order to act in a movie. 

I say - it isn't the preparation, it's the performance. He could have lived his whole life as Daniel Plainview, making sure every tick was perfect (which, by the way, it was). But, it's what's on screen that gets judged. I think. But, I only run a blog. What do I know, right? 

More after the cut--

You decide for yourself. 

I'm taking each of his 14 (yeah, that's not that many) films and going through from The Bounty all the way to Nine. I'll be the first to admit... some of his films, not that great. But, the ones that are? oh. holy. hell. Are they ever. 

A bit about his background - 

he's a damn nut On the set of Gangs of New York, he caught pneumonia. And refused medicine, simply because there wasn't any medicine for pneumonia at the time the film took place. Which was a damn long while ago. We're talking the turn of last century here. That's what he does, now anyway. He stays in character during the filming. Imagine what it must have been like trying to bring food to Daniel Plainview's trailer...

"A milkshake? No. Why would I..."

He's also famous for practically quitting acting after The Boxer was released in 1997. You know what he was doing during that time? Cobbling. 

No, not eating cobbler. He made shoes. Wooden shoes. In Italy. For five years. 

And there is no evidence that that was in preparation for a role that never got filmed, so we're legally required to assume Dave Chappelle-going-to-Africa levels of insanity. 

It might make sense, though. Method actors are generally very intense people. Day-Lewis no longer performs on stage, mainly because he once saw his father during a production of Hamlet, during the famous "Ghost" scene in the first act. The only problem is... his father had died at that point. Stress can do strange things to the human mind. 

He laid in retirement until around 2001 or so when he was asked by Martin Scorsese to star in Gangs of New York. And of course, how do you say no to Martin Scorsese? You don't. Ever. 

Thanks for bringing him back, Marty. Cinema missed him. And he's given some of the finest performances around, ever since. 

Enjoy the movies, folks. Look out for a review of The Bounty (1984) starring Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, and a young Daniel Day-Lewis. Coming very soon.