Daniel Day Lewis Response Post (due March 28)

article-0-182C9824000005DC-618_634x543Daniel Day Lewis is one of the most critically-acclaimed actors of all time, especially when you evaluate his body of work. Since his breakthrough film in 1990s Oscar-winning “My Left Foot”, Daniel Day Lewis has been nominated for five Academy Awards, six British Academy Awards, and seven Golden Globes. He’s accumulated nine wins from those prestigious organizations collectively. This is even more impressive when you realize that Daniel Day Lewis has only made a little more than 15 serious films.

Daniel Day Lewis is known for committing physically, mentally and artistically to roles; he The_Boxer_Daniel_Day-Lewis_Boxing_f_improf_793x446takes on a variety of accents; he loves to work with directors Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson

and Jim Sheridan; he appreciates roles of historical significance; and he takes his time choosing just the right role … one in which he can always totally engage his entire self.

Read this Daniel Day Lewis biography and watch Daniel discuss filmmaking here on Movies 101.

This next video is a wonderful retrospective of highlights from some of Daniel Day Lewis’ greatest performances.

Response Questions: After reading the biography and watching the videos, address two of 8ae41bdee54d6349a59d40530b801e8athe following questions and respond by noon on March 28:

  1. What do you find most fascinating about this award-winning filmmaker, and why?
  2. Why does Daniel Day Lewis choose such challenging roles? What do you feel that can teach you about life?
  3. After looking at the highlights of his career, which Day Lewis performance do you feel you would enjoy the most and why?
  4. Talk about how Day Lewis’ approach to acting works for him (this should come from the reading, interview and your own perspective)?
  5. Compare similarities to Day Lewis and any other filmmaker you’ve studied this semester.
  6. What do you feel is the secret to Day Lewis’ success? Explain.maxresdefault

18 thoughts on “Daniel Day Lewis Response Post (due March 28)

  1. Mallory Moore
    3. After looking at the highlights of his career, which Day Lewis performance do you feel you would enjoy the most and why?

    After reading the biography and watching the videos, I am very interested in seeing In the Name of the Father. I am interested in stories about guilt and innocence, and I tend to get involved in watching those stories more so than others. I think that these types of stories have fascinating and deep characters that I can either relate to or at least care for. Especially after hearing Day Lewis talk about what learned by preparing for this role, I think I would enjoy watching that movie.

    4. Talk about how Day Lewis’ approach to acting works for him (this should come from the reading, interview and your own perspective)?

    It works for him because by trying to actually live the life of the character, Day Lewis develops an understanding for that character. One of the best things about stories, whether they are in books or on screen/ stage, is they help us to understand a situation that we have never been in or a life that we have never lived. So when an actor can actually understand the life he is trying to portray, I think that the effect for the audience is increased as well. I think that this works for Day Lewis because it gives him a personal connection to his work and a greater appreciation for life in general.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haley Walker

    What do you find most fascinating about this award-winning filmmaker, and why?
    I love the fact that Lewis is a method actor and submerses himself so deeply into the character he wants to play. He perfects accents, and tries to live out as if he were the character himself. It takes dedication and commitment to commit to a role that way.

    What do you feel is the secret to Day Lewis’ success? Explain.
    I think that by committing himself fully to a role, Lewis succeeds by becoming one with the character, making his acting more believable and smooth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel Gann

    1. I have never seen a film with Lewis in it. That being said I think what surprised me the most is how much he commits to a role. He doesn’t just learn the lines, he becomes the character. He truly thinks about his character and how he wants to portray him. I think many actors today simply “go through the motions”, they learn the lines, they act/say the lines then they move on. But Lewis becomes the character, he learns about the time periods, he looks deeper than just the words that are written on the page.

    6. I defintiely believe that it is Lewis’s commitment to a character that is the secret to his success. I also think it’s because he takes breaks between films. I think there are some actors who peak early on because they do one movie after another, they don’t take the opportunity to become themselves again before becoming another character. Lewis allows time for his family and his personal life, he allows himself to lose one character and then when he is ready he becomes another. I think this process is the reason why every movie he has done he has been successful in. Because he not only truly becomes the character but he also has taken time for himself and his family. He doesn’t give in to the demands of being a movie star, he does what he wants and he follows his own rythm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your note “he follows his own rhythm” which for Daniel Day Lewis means taking a break for “life” in between roles. I can imagine he needs the break after putting so much into characters.


  4. Sthefany Flores
    1. I find it interesting that although he is a method actor, he has been able to keep himself from being overtaken by a role. Many method actors find it hard to leave a role once a production is over but Day-Lewis is able to move on. This may be because he takes a hiatus to prepare for a role not only to learn about his character but also to space out his performances. However, he is not perfect and has had a bit of problem with immersion. Such a case is his sighting of his father’s ghost during Hamlet.
    3. To be honest, although I find his work to be exceptional, I would not be inclined to watch his movies. I was exposed to The Crucible and The Last of the Mohicans a few years ago and did not enjoy them. This was not due to his acting—which stands out amongst his co-stars because it is at such a high level—it is mostly due to the fact that his roles are very intense or overly romantic, two things that I do not search for in a movie. To be honest, violent movies are not my cup of tea. If I were hard-pressed to pick a movie that he stars in to watch, it would probably be The Boxer but even then I would probably try to duck out of the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1. What do you find most fascinating about this award-winning filmmaker, and why?

    Well, I found out that Lewis never let himself be overtaken be a role in a movie. You knoww how some actors are just known for one major role compared to the others they did like for example, Mark Hamil although doing many roles will always be remembered as Luke Skywalker from Star Wars or the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series rather than Mark Hamil alone or Alfonso Ribeiro will always be known as Carlton from the 90’s TV show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Well, Lewis has kept himself known as Daniel Day Lewis known for many roles than just one. This probably helps that the fact he spreads out his performances.

    3. After looking at the highlights of his career, which Day Lewis performance do you feel you would enjoy the most and why?

    I feel like I would enjoy his performance as Abraham Lincoln in the film, “Lincoln.” I think that to take on the role as one of the greatest known presidents of the United States would be hard one to do, but I think someone like Lewis would play that role perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 3. Daniel Day Lewis’ name always sounded familiar but watching his highlight films I have never watched any of his movies. Now looking back on the movies I have watched I regret not watching one of his because you can see and feel he fully commits to a movie. I feel I would enjoy all of his movies but the one I really want to see if My Left Foot because it looks like a very challenging role. They also picked it as their number one choice so I feel it is going to be good.

    6. I feel his secret is fully committing to movie. When you change your lifestyle to fit the character you are playing, you have no choice but to perfect it. There are great actors/actresses out there but a good hand full have the mental power to change their lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What do you find most fascinating about this award-winning filmmaker, and why?
    The thing I find most interesting about Daniel Day Lewis after reading the biography about him is his childhood. Daniel went to a public school in south London and was so poorly behaved that his parents sent him to a private school where he also lacked success in school. I think I find this so interesting because he invests himself so much into roles but he didn’t necessarily invest himself in school as a child until he was enrolled into Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. It still is amazing how much he invests himself into his roles today. Even breaking ribs just to really get into the feel of a character. It is motivational in a way to be fully invested in my work as Daniel Day Lewis is in his. He obviously takes pride in his work and maybe when he was a child he didn’t find that work interesting until he began fully diving into the world of drama.

    After looking at the highlights of his career, which Day Lewis performance do you feel you would enjoy the most and why?
    After watching the highlights of his career I think I would enjoy his role in Lincoln the most playing the historic figure Abraham Lincoln. I’ve actually already seen this film so I don’t want to be biased but I do love how he portrayed the stern powerful Abraham Lincoln. I feel as if it would be so difficult to play this role in fear of not living up to his powerful reputation but the power Daniel Day Lewis showed in this character was clearly depicted.

    -Kacy O’Connor

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks KC – His attack on film roles is something that anyone can adopt -full commitment to something you want and want to perfect can benefit anyone who does something for the right reasons (career, athletics, marriage, parenthood, etc).


  8. Kate Lamar:
    1. He always thought he was going to play in theatre, but he kept it to himself. When he was working at the Shakespeare, he said there is no more future for him there. I would rather be unemployed than working at Shakespeare. One thing that a lot of people didn’t understand about his film making, and working status, was that he did it his own way, and people didn’t understand or like it.
    2. “If I feel i am going to take on the life of another man, I feel I need to go and understand”. From this, one of his movies was he was playing a man who was incident, and he couldn’t understand it, and the only way that he could, was he truly put his life in the mans shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tyra long

    1. I think it was the response we had with Meryl Streep, but I mentioned how much respect and amazement I have for people who are able to turn on and off accents. So, of course, this is the main thing I found fascinating. I think when it comes to his acting it is amazing how he puts in so much effort into his roles. This makes me wonder what actors do to prepare for their role without getting lost in the character after ypur job is over.

    6.I think the secret to his work is passion. When reading about his childhood and how he did not peform well in school but accelled in acting shows that when you are passionate about something you succeed. Ive personally learned that you can never do anything successfully until you put your all into it and loving what you do makes it 10xs easier

    Liked by 1 person

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