Living Actor of Our Time, Daniel Day-Lewis is officially set to play one of the ugliest greatest presidents in American history, Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming biopic Lincoln. The film will be directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the biographical portrait Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Before I go on I have to say that I love Daniel Day-Lewis. Everyone (mis amigos, my family) knows that I love Daniel Day-Lewis. And in case you didn’t know this then I’d like to tell you right now that I, bodega express, love Daniel Day-Lewis. I’m like the President of the “National Daniel Day-Lewis Fan Club.” Our headquarters are in the Bronx, of course. ;-)
But yes. He is hands down, no doubt about it, my all-time favorite actor.
Anyway, long before Mickey Rourke starred in The Wrestler (which was amazing) and before
Marky Mark Wahlberg did the upcoming The Fighter, there was DDL in The Boxer. Before Heath and Jake in that Brokeback shit (also awesome but still) there was DDL in My Beautiful Laundrette. Before NINE there were. . .tons of really great musical films. Let’s be real, NINE sucked. But what do you expect when Kate Hudson’s in the same movie. DDL is not a miracle worker! But what can I say? I mean. . .Daniel Day-Lewis is. . .He’s just. . .just brilliant. I heart DDL. OK, one last time so I get it out of my system:
He’s pretty much the greatest actor of all time, but if you hadn’t heard of Daniel Day-Lewis by now, I wouldn’t just assume you’ve been living under a rock.
I’d probably confuse you for my sister Nefertiti, who’s got the crappiest taste in movies. This is because Day-Lewis is one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only five films since 1997, and [taking] as many as five years in between roles. So there’s a chance you may only know him from his albeit amazing yet most recent 2007 movie There Will Be Blood, as that dude who “abandons his child” and drinks Paul Dano’s milkshake. (Just watch the movie–you’ll get it. ;-) )
Since beginning his acting career 40 years ago, DDL’s limited filmography accounts for just under 20 films. That averages out to less than a couple of movies a year. I’m not sure what that meant for your career back in the day, but in the year 2011 that’s not much at all. In fact, it could probably destroy your career to make choices like these. In the new millennium movie stars are made overnight and the masses are bombarded with their images all year long. A l l f u c k i n g y e a r l o n g. Think about it. By the end of this year,
fugly newcomer Robert Pattinson will star in nearly as many flims as Day-Lewis has in his entire career, Tom Cruise will complete almost twice as many projects, and Kevin Bacon will be working on his 61st movie, more than triple that amount! (So basically, there won’t be a “Six Degrees of Daniel Day-Lewis” game happening any time soon.)
And because DDL is also what some
feeble-minded, ordinary person in the media would describe as a “strange and reclusive” personality, very little is known about his life. Which basically means he’s not a fame whore. So much so that when he’s not working on a movie here in the states, Mr. Day-Lewis is somewhere out there, in the boonies, making shoes or simply living a quiet, private life with his family. I really appreciate this about him. As much as I am fascinated by this man, I’m not sure I want to know any more about him other than that he is a phenomenal actor. I don’t wanna see him on the cover of the tabloids, read about him on trashy gossip sites on the internet, know where he is vacationing or what he is doing at this very moment. I love that he comes and goes from time to time, in and out of obscurity, only revealing himself through his superlative craftsmanship. Yeah. This is probably one of those “chicks-who-dig-mysterious-guys” thing. Fuck it. I don’t know. It works for me (haha). (Oh, and let this be a warning to all the supposed “A-List” actors and actresses who constantly bitch about not being able to live a private life or get away from the spotlight and all that “plight of the superstar” crap. The GOAT is virtually unknown. So, shut the fuck up.)
the fugly RPattz who is one of the worst actors out there, and Tom Cruise who constantly shits out crappy movies (Knight and Day, and the upcoming shitty Mission Impossible: XII) and just about all other actors on the big screen, DDL clearly goes for quality over quantity, delivering the best performances in each and every film. He is consistently brilliant and uniformly perfect. The man didn’t just get lucky or something; fucker can legitimately act. He’s fucking gifted.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest living actor, ever. He can do anything. Period.
<— Daniel Day-Lewis could’ve played a dinosaur in Jurassic Park and won an Oscar for it.
They could’ve filmed Ocean’s Thirteen with all the parts being played by Daniel Day-Lewis and it would’ve been better than the original.
Talented as he is however, I’m not going to underestimate the challenge that portraying one of the
ugliest most admired and respected presidents of the United States will pose. But there has never been a better actor to rise to this occassion, however, than Daniel Day-Lewis. The preparation is all there. And now that I am completely immersed in my thoughts about Daniel Day-Lewis, I realize that he’s actually been a subtle contributor to my education for many years now. His filmography is a collection of historical films, biopics, and adaptations of classic literary works so this makes sense.
Let’s see. . .I first “discovered” DDL in the 7th grade. Come to think of it. . .my American History teacher (Ms. Hauer) may have been a DDL fan too because we watched not 1 but 2 of his films in her class: first came Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and then it was James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans (which I watched over and over and over again for like the longest time; I scratched the hell out of my brother’s cd because the film’s soundtrack is fucking awesome, too.)
I also remember watching The Age of Innocence after reading the book for a 20th Century American Novel course in college. Boom, there was Daniel Day-Lewis playing the protagonist in one of Edith Wharton’s literary masterpieces.
His biopics In The Name of the Father (for which he was once again nominated for an Academy Award) and The Boxer, are both set in an era in which Irish nationalists used terrorism and guerilla warfare in an effort to drive British forces from and achieve a united independent Ireland. And then there are DDL’s most recent films, Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood, films based on some of the events in 20th century American history. Granted, the former is certainly not his best work to date (
I blame Cameron Diaz for this : : cough: : she sucks : : cough: :), but his performance in the latter won him an Academy Award. (The latter is also loosely based on Oil!, a novel by Upton Sinclair.) Thus, it wouldn’t surprise me if in the future another student also discovers DDL in the classrooom, after watching Lincoln in a class on the American Civil War or something. He has definitely kept me interested all these years later. ;-)
In addition, DDL is (in)famously known for his gruelling method acting, taking extreme measures to prepare for a role, in some cases even years before filming. But it pays off. In My Left Foot, (his first work in a biopic), DDL’s portrayal of writer/artist Christy Brown (who suffered from a severe case of Cerebral Palsy) won him his first Academy Award. I wonder how the hell he will prepare for this new role as Abe Lincoln. I hope he doesn’t actually try to get shot or something. He’ll probably go to a war-torn country in Africa, and try to put an end to the conflict by delivering a speech. But unlike Lincoln–it’ll actually work! Daniel Day-Lewis will singlehandedly bring peace to the world. Because he is That. Damn. Good!