5 Craziest Sacrifices Daniel Day-Lewis Made For a Role
Thought Christian Bale goes too far with method acting? Wait until you see what Daniel Day-Lewis did for the role.
The power of Daniel Day-Lewis' acting talent is already legendary. With each new role, he demonstrates new facets of his talent. Whether it's learning a new language or coming down with pneumonia, Daniel Day-Lewis sees no obstacles to a flawless performance.
1. The Last of the Mohicans – Lived in the Forest
The action of Michael Mann's war movie takes place in the 18th century during the Anglo-French war. The director depicted the military actions in great detail, but Day-Lewis also made a lot of efforts to make the events on the screen look more realistic.
In order to properly prepare for his new role, the actor decided to live in the woods of North Carolina. Daniel spent an entire month in the wilderness. During this time, he had to learn how to hunt animals, as well as how to shoot a heavy 12-pound flintlock rifle.
2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Learned Czech Language
The drama about the events of the Prague Spring, mass protests in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s, focuses on the romance between Tomas and Tereza. Day-Lewis got the main role – a neurosurgeon who don't believe in true love.
For this role Daniel learned to speak Czech fluently. The already experienced actor was ready to suffer a little so as not to follow in the footsteps of most actors: playing a character from another country, speaking English with an artificial foreign accent.
3. The Boxer – Studied Boxing for 18 Months
The sports drama centers on boxer Danny Flynn, for whom sports is a way to escape a life of crime. Day-Lewis got the lead role and, without betraying his principles, the actor decided to do everything he could to better understand the multifaceted character.
He spent more than a year training with professional boxers in Ireland, including Conor McGregor's trainer. After such intense work, Daniel took a break from movies and only returned to acting after five years in Gangs of New York.
4. Gangs of New York – Refused to Wear a Winter Coat and Got Pneumonia
In Martin Scorsese's film, Day-Lewis played the main antagonist William Cutting, a ruthless gang leader who controlled part of the city.
For the actor, transforming into the character involved several aspects at once: getting into fights with strangers, constantly speaking with the accent, and wearing clothes typical of the period. The latter turned out not to be the best idea – the actor came down with pneumonia because he refused to change his coat for a warmer one, for the simple reason that such clothing did not exist in the 1860s.
5. Phantom Thread – Studied Tailoring for Two Years
Phantom Thread was the last film in which Day-Lewis starred, after which he won his third Academy Award and retired. To prepare for the role, he spent several months as an apprentice to Marc Happel, the head of the New York City Ballet's costume department.
But that's not all. When the ballet season ended, the actor decided to outdo himself, designing and sewing a Balenciaga gown from scratch. After such a wealth of experimentation, perhaps one can retire in peace.