“As written, Ryan Gosling comes into this baptism, sits down in the middle of the pews with all the people, and is enraged that another man is baptizing his son. So I had 500 people from Schenectady show up in their Sunday finest. You had Eva Mendes, Mahershala Ali, and the baby: Everyone’s dressed to the nines. I had the camera in the back of the church, and I told Ryan, ‘Come in and find a place to sit.’ Ryan walks into the church, and he’s literally a marked man. He cannot fit in anywhere.”
“He moved over to the corner of the church, and I just panned with him as he sat down. Then I cut and moved my camera into a close-up. And I was shooting this close-up of him, and behind us, there was this baptism going on. I noticed Ryan wasn’t getting enraged as I had expected, but he was trembling. And I noticed that this well of emotion was building in him, this humiliation, this deep shame. And he started to break down on camera. As his friend, all I wanted to do was shut the camera off and give him a hug. Give him a napkin and wipe it off: It’s just pretend. But that’s what we were there for. You’re always trying to get to a place where the acting stops and behavior begins. That’s what these tattoos are for — actors are very much like athletes to me, I work with them on a very physical level. I feel like the physical level affects the psychological and the emotional.”
Posts tagged Film.
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.
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.
Paul Thomas Anderson told Entertainment Weekly that the fake oil used throughout the movie included “the stuff they put in chocolate milkshakes at McDonald’s.”
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.
The fictional character of Daniel Plainview bears some resemblance to a real, early 20th-century California oil tycoon named Edward L. Doheny. Both were from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; both were employed by Geological Survey and worked in Kansas; both tried a hand at mining before going into the oil business; and both worked with a fellow prospector named “H. B. Ailman.” As for other Plainview-Doheny connections, the bowling alley scene in ‘There Will Be Blood’ was filmed at Greystone Manor, a California estate Doheny built as a present for his only son. Also interestingly, the infamous “milkshake speech” Plainview gives is based upon transcripts of congressional hearings concerning the Teapot Dome Scandal, in which the very same Edward L. Doheny had been accused of bribing a political official.