Daniel Day-Lewis’ Greatest Compliment Was Being Accepted by Native-American Activist After His One Role Induced ‘Mild Hallucinations’

The Native American activist lauded Daniel Day-Lewis' commitment to portraying his character with unparalleled authenticity.

Daniel Day-Lewis’ Greatest Compliment Was Being Accepted by Native-American Activist After His One Role Induced ‘Mild Hallucinations’

SUMMARY

  • Renowned for his staunch commitment to his craft and penchant for method acting, Daniel Day-Lewis, has graced the silver screen with several of his extraordinary performances.
  • From embodying the United States president in Lincoln to portraying a ruthless oil tycoon in There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day-Lewis' commitment to authenticity is undeniable
  • One particular chapter in his decades-long career also includes the portrayal of Nathaniel ‘Hawkeye’ Poe in Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans.
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Renowned for his staunch commitment to his craft and penchant for method acting, Daniel Day-Lewis, has graced the silver screen with several of his extraordinary performances. From embodying the United States president in Lincoln to portraying a ruthless oil tycoon in There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day-Lewis’ commitment to authenticity is undeniable. One particular chapter in his decades-long career also includes the portrayal of Nathaniel ‘Hawkeye’ Poe in Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans.

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Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread
Daniel Day-Lewis

However, the production of the 1992 historical drama presented significant challenges for the acclaimed actor. Despite the obstacles, his efforts proved fruitful, resulting in commercial success and praise from both critics and, most notably, approval from a Native American activist.

Read More: “I just went mad”: Daniel Day-Lewis Had to Tap Into His Own Street Fighting Experience for One Role That Wrecked His Mental Health

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Daniel Day-Lewis Earned Approval of a Native-American Activist

Daniel Day-Lewis‘ 1992 film The Last of the Mohicans explores the themes of love, war, honor, and sacrifice as it follows Nathaniel “Hawkeye” Poe, a frontiersman joining the Native American Mohicans. The actor was intrigued by his character and immersed himself in the wilderness to adopt a survivalist mindset.

Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans
Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans

I liked the idea of a man who had not been touched by 20th-century neurosis. A life that isn’t drawn inwards,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. The movie and his performance received praise from critics and audiences alike.

However, some found it pale in regards to his performance in films like Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood. Despite such comparisons, Russell Means, the Native American activist portraying Chingachgook in the historical drama, was highly impressed by his commitment and authenticity.

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Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans

Talking about the Oscar-winning actor, Means said that Day-Lewis is “one of the most considerate human beings I ever met.” He further added, “Daniel is the embodiment of someone I would adopt as a non-Indian.” However, the acknowledgment seems to have come at a cost, as the intensity of his commitment took a toll on him.

Read More: “He was a tall, lean..very dark haired good looking man”: One Hollywood Legend Would Have Been a Better James Bond Than Daniel Craig

Daniel Day-Lewis’ Role in the Historical Drama Triggered Mild Hallucinations

Talking about Daniel Day-Lewis, the film’s director, Michale Mann, said that he is always ready to try and do anything, saying that “he is immensely concentrated, and he’s fearless.” However, the toll of giving his best became evident during his portrayal of Nathaniel ‘Hawkeye’ Poe, as the intense shoot resulted in claustrophobia and mild hallucinations for the actor.

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A still from The Last of the Mohicans
A still from The Last of the Mohicans

During his interview with The New York Times, the actor shared that it has become hard for him to stay in a room for long. “I find it difficult to be in rooms now for long periods of time,” he said before adding, “I can usually take it for about an hour. Then I stride out.” Despite the challenges that came with the role of Hawkeye, Day-Lewis found it worthwhile, saying that it allowed him to grasp what it feels like to inhabit a character’s perspective.

The Last of the Mohicans is available on Prime Video.

Read More: Daniel Day-Lewis Could Have Become DC’s Caped Crusader After Michael Keaton Quit the Batman Franchise

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2111

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.