Daniel Day-Lewis with Madeleine Stowe and an extra on the set of “The Last of the Mohicans”.
Posts tagged Daniel Day Lewis.
In the summer of ‘06, during filming, a photographer snapped an onset photo of a person they believed to be Daniel Day-Lewis, albeit with a great deal of physical alterations. The photo appeared used on various film websites and in magazines as an example of how drastically Day-Lewis had changed himself for the role. Upon viewing the film and applying common sense, it turns out, this person was NOT, in fact, Daniel Day-Lewis; it was instead actor Vince Froio, who portrayed Plainview’s “closest associate” at the end of the film.
Along with his win in 1989, Daniel Day-Lewis became only the Eighth actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor twice. Day-Lewis won Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, NYFCC, and IFTA Best Actor awards for his performance.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson owns a vintage 1910 Pathe camera which contains a special 43mm lens. The lens was specially modified to be used in the film as it has very low resolution and can shift colors at corners. Only certain shots of the film used this lens; for example a shot of Plainview in the train with infant H.W.
To build his character, Daniel Day-Lewis started with the voice. Paul Thomas Anderson sent him recordings from the late 19th century to 1927 and a copy of the 1948 film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, including documentaries on its director, John Huston, an important influence on Anderson’s film. According to Anderson, he was inspired by the fact that Sierra Madre is “about greed and ambition and paranoia and looking at the worst parts of yourself.” While writing the script, he would put the film on before he went to bed at night. To research for the role, Day-Lewis read letters from laborers and studied photographs from the time period. He also read up on oil tycoon Edward Doheny, upon whom Upton Sinclair’s book is loosely based.
In an interview on the National Public Radio program “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” Paul Dano told Gross that he had originally been cast in the much smaller role of Paul Sunday, Eli’s brother, and another actor had been cast as Eli. However, after Dano had already started filming his one scene as Paul Sunday, Paul Thomas Anderson decided to replace the actor playing Eli. Anderson then asked Dano to play Eli Sunday (a much bigger role) as well as Paul Sunday, and they decided to change the film to make the brothers identical twins. Anderson asked Dano to play Eli on a Thursday, and filming for the role began four days later, on the next Monday. Daniel Day-Lewis, by contrast, had a whole year to prepare to play Daniel Plainview.
For the role of Plainview’s “son,” Paul Thomas Anderson looked at people in Los Angeles and New York City, but he realized that they needed someone from Texas who knew how to shoot shotguns and “live in that world.” The filmmakers asked around at a school and the principal recommended Dillon Freasier. They did not have him read any scenes and instead talked to him, realizing that he was the perfect person for the role. On the radio program “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” Paul Thomas Anderson told Gross that when the production was trying to convince Dillon’s mother to allow Dillon to be in the movie, his mother wanted to figure out who Daniel Day-Lewis was, so she rented a copy of Gangs of New York. She panicked at the idea of her son spending time with the man she saw in that movie, so the There Will Be Blood casting department rushed to her a copy of The Age of Innocence, in which Day-Lewis plays a civilized and gentle man.