Daniel Day-Lewis is one actor who’s known for his intense approach to preparing for roles in his films. His method approach to acting had earned him unprecedented respect and integrity in the industry with many actors looking up to him for inspiration. He is one of the rare actors who have won 3 Oscars for his incredible contribution to the art form.
One of his most memorable films was 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans, directed by Michael Mann. Day-Lewis’ unique and intense preparation for roles started to be evident in this film. The extent to which he went to get into the psychological and physical condition for the role proved fatal to his own well-being as the actor suffered major medical problems.
Daniel Day-Lewis’ Method Approach For The Last of the Mohicans Proved Fatal
Daniel Day-Lewis starred in the epic historical drama film The Last of the Mohicans in 1992. The film based on the French-Indian war required the actor to be in a certain physical shape and the actor also indulged himself in extreme situations that he felt would put him in the headspace of the character he was playing.
An article from The New York Times details the grueling working conditions and the extreme methods that Day-Lewis employed in order to portray his character in the film. According to the article, before shooting began, the actor would stand and submerge himself in cold lake water for fifteen minutes. He also maintained a slim physique by working out and going for runs.
The actor and the crew also suffered from hallucinations and claustrophobia due to the extreme working conditions of the film. It took a toll on the actor who told the outlet,
“I find it difficult to be in rooms now for long periods of time. I can usually take it for about an hour. Then I stride out.”
Day-Lewis’ dedication and commitment to his craft is admirable. He has always been known to push the envelope of acting and the process of achieving a certain performance. This example further proves his brilliance, while also showing the extremities and consequences of taking something too far.
Daniel Day-Lewis Explains His Unique Way to Identify With Various Characters
Daniel Day-Lewis is known for his method approach to portraying a role. But he also takes inspiration from real-world people, their behaviors, and actions to know more about the human experience. He talked to The New York Times about how he observes and studies people to understand the human condition and that helps in his acting endeavors. He said,
“You can go to incredible lengths, on an enormously circuitous, serpentine journey to arrive at an understanding of someone else’s life,” he says with some fervor. “You can do that. You can also look at someone and, in a moment, understand what it feels like to look through that face.
It happens to me that in walking or sitting in a public place I see a face that interests me, or a body that has a shape or a way of moving, and I have a huge desire to see through that person’s eyes. And it’s a simple transition from where I’m sitting to being in that person’s body. And it could be a total miscomprehension of that life. But for me, it’s a totally genuine one.”
Day-Lewis is one of a kind and his unique approach to the art form is what made him one of the greatest actors of all time. Although he retired some time back, his name and reputation are still talked about and will continue to do so for a long time.