I make no secret of the fact that I adore the actor Daniel Day-Lewis. I also have a big fascination with Abraham Lincoln. So when I heard Day-Lewis was going to play Lincoln in a new movie, I basically felt like all my dreams were coming true. It’s too perfect. I was so excited, I actually thought the movie came out yesterday and was a week early on that to my MAJOR disappointment. So to make up for it and to get me back in the anticipatory mood, here are five of Daniel Day-Lewis’ finest acting moments.
1. My Left Foot (1989)
Good god, this whole movie. From the scene of him putting the record on with one foot to the above scene in the restaurant, Daniel Day-Lewis captured spastic quadriplegic and Irish writer Christy Brown perfectly. As is Day-Lewis’ way, he insisted on remaining in his wheelchair between takes and the dedication won him an Oscar, beating out Morgan Freeman, Robin Williams, Tom Cruise and Kenneth Branagh. Rightfully so. I recently heard an interview with Day-Lewis where he said director Jim Sheridan came to him with this script and basically no budget and out of that, his terrific acting MADE this movie. Here’s his acceptance speech:
2. There Will Be Blood (2007)
This movie was incredible, in no small part because of the amazing acting of Day-Lewis in the part of Daniel Plainview. (Paul Dano also kills it here. Super underrated actor.) And yes this scene brought us the infamous “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE.” Who could forget a line like that delivered like that? Day-Lewis, you’re a master.
3. Gangs of New York (2002)
I include this monologue because I also LOVE Leo DiCaprio but this character is such a crazy departure for Day-Lewis. Just the voice alone. That’s what I love about him. He BECOMES the character. I hardly recognize Day-Lewis in his roles, he so flawlessly takes on the person he’s playing. I mean, does this guy even remotely seem similar to Christy Brown or Plainview? (Take note, Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl.) Plus, this is a fantastic monologue.
4. In The Name Of The Father (1993)
Based on a crazy true story where an innocent man spent years in jail after being coerced into confessing to an IRA bombing he didn’t do, Daniel Day-Lewis once again delivers a mind-blowing performance under the guidance of director Jim Sheridan. If you like movies about justice, this is a particularly good one. Plus, young DDL makes one hot hippie. Just sayin’.
5. The Last of The Mohicans (1992)
Hard for me to pick a last one, but I think I’m comfortable with this choice. Mostly because I love DDL’s long hair. Haven’t seen this movie in a while but it’s a good one. A little dated now that I look at the trailer, but as far as Day-Lewis performance’s go, it’s a must-see.
Gah! I’m so excited for Lincoln, you guys! Feels like it’s taking four score and seven years just to come to theaters! (Get it! Lincoln jokes! Ah!)