Daniel Day-Lewis is not some ‘lonely, strange figure going about an unholy business’

Everyone seemed to enjoy those photos of Daniel Day Lewis last week, so let’s try to do it again! These are some assorted photos of DDL in Italy, Paris and Dublin, Ireland over the past four days or so. Much has been made of Daniel’s performance in Lincoln and whether or not he’ll win his third Oscar for the role, but I think it’s interesting that DDL seems to be okay with campaigning for the Oscar this time around. I guess he campaigned in 2008 as well? That was when he won for There Will Be Blood. I kind of like DDL’s style of Oscar campaigning – he’s not getting in people’s faces, he’s not doing 20 million interviews, but he’s being low-key and gentlemanly and shaking everybody’s hand. I wonder… is his campaign different because he’s a man? Or is it different because he’s Daniel Day Lewis?

I wouldn’t hate it if Daniel won his third Oscar for Lincoln – I saw the movie, and at various times, it truly felt like I was watching archival footage of Abraham Lincoln. It’s Daniel’s award to lose, I think, but I would love it if Hugh Jackman won. I think Hugh is Daniel’s only real competition (sorry Bradley Cooper). Anyway, speaking of Oscar campaigns and the like, Daniel wants us to know that he’s ONE OF US. He says he doesn’t mean to come off as mysterious or anything. He’s just a normal guy!

Daniel Day-Lewis had no intention to create an ”air of mystery” surrounding him. The 55-year-old actor is known for his extreme mental and physical preparation for each film he stars in and while he has been labeled as secretive, The ‘Lincoln’ star insists the reason he focuses so much on every role is because he finds embodying a new character a ”huge pleasure of discovery”.

He explained: ”I didn’t go looking for that [mystery tag], it was not my intention to create a specious air of mystery about what I do. But what’s misrepresented is the fact I take a long time [preparing for each character] because I enjoy the work and it pleases me to take time over it.”

”It’s pure joy. It’s a huge pleasure in discovery. It’s a game, and I’ve never thought to obscure that fact. But that image persists of some sort of lonely, strange figure going about an unholy business.”

Daniel has sworn never to reveal his training secrets but he worries people’s gossip will turn the reliable methods into something resembling a ”Satanic ritual”, rather than appreciating his hard work.

He added to Time Out magazine: ”I’ve been reluctant to talk about how I work because I don’t feel one should talk about it. But the problem is a lot of other people then talk about it and by a process of Chinese whispers it sounds like some strange Satanic ritual is taking place, with the whole thing about immersion and the method and the weight of those terms.”

[From Contact Music]

GAH, I love the way he speaks. Like, I adore his turn of phrase – “that image persists of some sort of lonely, strange figure going about an unholy business” is a good turn of phrase. As is “create a specious air of mystery.” Daniel might lose the Oscar, but he’s won something more important: my biscuit.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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45 Responses to “Daniel Day-Lewis is not some ‘lonely, strange figure going about an unholy business’”

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  1. mln76 says:

    Totally campaigning, totally doing it with dignity and panache. I have never thought there was anything wrong with an Oscar campaign its just the Hathaways of the world that give it a bad name.

    • carrie says:

      Tommy Lee Jones’s campaign is fun :he doesn’t campaign and he sulks in the ceremonies

    • Esmom says:

      Yes and it seems clean that DDL sees it as a “team” campaign and that makes it more palatable. I heard a radio interview with Tony Kushner (he write the screenplay for Lincoln) not long ago and he talked about the intense collaboration between him, DDL and S. Spielberg.

      So in a way, the Oscar would acknowledge all of them since his role would not be possible without the team effort. DDL even said as much in his GG acceptance speech, which I thought was heartfelt and humble.

    • CG says:

      ITA. It’s the style of the campaign, not the fact that he’s male. Last year George Clooney was just as desperate and in-your-face as Anne Hathaway is, and that was totally off-putting, and I’m normally a Clooney fan. DDL’s totally campaigning, but he’s not being super-obvious about it.

      • olaf78 says:

        I love Hugh Jackman but I think he is campaigning HARD ala Clooney and I find it on the nose.

        He revealed his and his wife’s miscarriages; has gone on to speak about his mother’s abandonment of the family; how his father has alzheimers; his extremely gushy speech at the Globes – in all it is mega try, but he is such an honourable guy that it isn’t as easy to see.

        I do not believe he should win the Oscar, based on his performance – so if he does it will just encourage and escalate the Hathaway-campaign, which yeuch!

        I am losing so much respect and tolerance for Hathaway due to this campaign. I can hardly believe her Globes acceptance speech or her behaviour on the stage after the Best Picture. Truly narcissistic and irritating.

  2. carrie says:

    in my opinion, Jackman and DDL campaign more than Bradley Cooper but anyone looks desesperated like Anne Hathaway (i feel she will do a breakdown if she doesn’t win)
    in fact,Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence campaign more than the guys but less than Anne Hathaway(i’m pretty sure she sleeps with her Golden Globe)

    • Hubbahun says:


      A really bad part of me wants her to lose to bring her down a peg and I don’t think I’m alone!

      • Amelia says:

        Ohhh, you are most definitely not alone on that one, Hubbahun!
        Personally, I’m hoping for a Kanye moment where she jumps up on stage and steals the award away from Sally Fields.
        Oh, and DDL – strong contender for forever dong.

    • HRP says:

      Obviously all are campaigning, the difference is that Daniel and Hugh are promoting their films but they are not “overexposed”, however Cooper continues to campaign with “gossip” (Saldana, Taylor, Jennifer) blah blah blah …… I still don`t understand how achievement to be nominated?? whatever, I’ve seen all the movies and definitely for me is between DDL and HJ if we talk about acting, Phoenix was excellent but his words kept him out of competition.

    • GoodCapon says:

      The other nominees in the Best Supporting Actress category don’t seem to campaign as hard as Anne does either.

      Sometimes I forget that she was only nominated for a supporting role because she’s hustling it like she was nominated for the Best Actress category.

  3. Ranunculus says:

    I think he is talented, but the way he prepares for becoming his characters are way strange. The whole crew has to call him by his characters name and he completely brainwashes himself and others around him. I find him weird. When he did interviews for There Will Be Blood I thought he was very into himself – and nuts and not in a good way. He had months of being Daniel Plainview before shooting began and then he scared his young co-actor so much that they had to replace him with Paul Dano, who without having month of preparation, gave an equally great performance as the smarmy preacher in that movie.

  4. s says:

    he makes me melt. Has ever since the last of the mohicans 🙂

  5. Lauli says:

    He’s a fantastic actor and a beautiful man.

  6. Esmom says:

    I like his self awareness. It’s kinda cute that he wants to be seen as less of an oddball. But it’s his quirks that add to his appeal, imo.

  7. vixo says:

    He’s so handsome it hurts to look at him. DDL I love you !

  8. LAK says:

    Gosh he really has relaxed back into the handsome man he used to be. There was a period of time when he was so tense and high strung you couldn’t see the handsome at all.

    He seems to be at peace now. And relaxed and probably enjoying the process more this time round.

    I am finding Joaquin’s current intensity off putting. Maybe whe he hits the other side of 50 he will relax just as DDL has.

    • Kimbob says:

      Good observation, @LAK. That’s what I’m seeing here, as well. He has relaxed into himself, & does seem finally to be @ peace.

      Hmmmm….Joaquin…we can only HOPE! He’s definitely a wildcard, that one. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed Joaquin & Ben Affleck’s brother don’t collaborate on any more, ahem…”film projects.”

    • Ms Kay says:

      I’ve thought that too, I thought he should relax because honestly most people can see that he is a very good actor. But I’ve come to terms to believe that Joaquin Phoenix does not have a filter; he says what he thinks and probably doesn’t consider how the world will react to his honesty. This lack of a filter is why he is able to create the performances he does and why people can see the truth in his work. I remember how very uncomfortable he was during Walk The Line campaign, add to that the problems he had with alcohol. I think he is more likely another George C. Scott, say not every actor is cool with the whole PR game parade, so it’s more likely in bona fide what Joaquin Phoenix says or thinks or feels…

  9. dcypher1 says:

    Ddl is a hot pocket. he can have my biscuit too lol. I think he will win that third oscar sorry hugh.

  10. Hubbahun says:

    He doesn’t need to campaign as Hollywood is so up his ass they just hand him an Oscar for whatever role. I just don’t get it. Yes he is a good actor but a bit scenery chewing for me. When he is playing a role, I never forget that it is Daniel Day-Lewis on screen. There are plenty of better actors out there who don’t get all the plaudits and work their asses off, not turning up for one role every now and then. Richard Schiff comes to mind – he could act DDL off the stage in anything.

    • Lauli says:

      Interesting because for me it’s exactly the contrary. He makes me forget there’s an actor behind the character. I’d be one of those who’d call him “Mr. President”. LOL

  11. Mira says:

    He’s always campaigned. For TWBB, most of his interviews were with PTA. His campaign is not only low-key but also restrained. We don’t hear of him much during campaign because he refuses to take personal questions. All the interviews for TWBB was about the movie. He does however talk about how his acting technique is misunderstood because of Chinese whispers and how the word method is used very loosely, and he’s completely right about it. Also, he doesn’t need to campaign very hard because the critics usually have a consensus regarding his performance. Most critics bet on DDL this year even before the release of the film, which is ridiculous. Guess I’m sulking because Joaquin will not win.

    • carrie says:

      you’re probably right because his roles are always Oscar-friendly and Lincoln is his most Oscar-Friendly character of his career.I don’t say he’s not talented or only interested by the Awards but he never acted a character just for the fun.

      For example,Dicaprio,Jackson,Foxx and Waltz in Django Enchained have some fun,ricky and Oscar-friendly characters but above all fun to act

      • Mira says:

        I don’t have a problem with him choosing roles that require more acting and less frills. If he’s taking a 5-year gap between each movie, it means business for him. He’s very moral and ethical in choosing roles in the sense that he really weighs in on whether he’s really able to add value to the role. The process of deliberation to accept a role itself is long for him and I appreciate that. I can understand why he brings in the amount of concentration to his roles after singing a film. You have to listen to PTA explaining the process of TWBB and DDL’s doubts on whether he would be right for the part. Ditto with Lincoln. He’s also refused several films including The Schindler’s List. I enjoy his acting and I enjoy his interviews. What I didn’t like is how the critics put him on top of their list before the film released. You know what, I’m really sulking for Joaquin. Lol!

        As for a fun character from DDL, please see Eversmile, New Jersey. Hilarious (in a Quixotian sense) and an oddball movie for him or from how we have come to know of him.

  12. Alli says:

    I want to touch the heinie.

  13. Bijlee says:

    Great actor handsome guy but his pretentiousness just ruins it for me completely as do his humble brags. The best actor race is so boring when you know who is going to win. Blegh. I think this guy should challenge himself more. He takes roles he knows he is good at and can win awards. I wish he could be more daring. Like once in a while just take a role and not prepare so intensely.

  14. I.want.shoes says:

    He can go about strange, unholy business with me anytime.

  15. aud says:

    Damn he’s aging well

    • Issa says:

      Yes and what is his skin routine? His skin is amazing. We’re talking about a 50+ man here, aging very well.

  16. Incredulous says:

    I’m pretty sure he plays up any weirdness in public so he gets left alone and can just pootle about getting on with his life. In his position, I would.

  17. Samihami says:

    He is a great actor, no denying that. But he really does come across as precious and full of himself. I find it very off putting.

  18. Tania says:

    People forget that Denzel Washington is nominated as well? Or is it because he’s not campaigning? His performance in Flight was amazing. The way it ended just blew my mind. You wanted him to do the right thing and not do the right thing and then you were so happy he did the right thing!

    I saw Lincoln and I saw Flight. Lincoln, I’m sorry to say, was kind of boring. Perhaps I’m not intellectual enough to appreciate it but it was just so dull. I love (the real) President Lincoln, and what he did, but I didn’t find the movie entertaining, except for Sally Field.

    I wish Denzel or the studio would do more to campaign!

  19. Tiffany says:

    I don’t think it as much campaigning as the man does not work enough and his promotions fall in line with awards season. Jackman, Washington and Cooper constantly work and do press. I don’t think he is pretentious, I just think of him as the child of a world renowned poet and just has a great way with words. He always seems to make his speeches and interviews about everyone but him. Not a bad quality.

  20. Jenny says:

    God I adore this man! His brain, his fierce male beauty, his talent and integrity, his amazing sex appeal. The man even has chesthair! *swoon*
    Still, I’m rooting for joaquin this year, it’s about time – he’s so good in every role he takes on. But I understand he probably won’t win.

  21. Miss M says:

    I was/am/will be DDL fan!

    Honestly, I think Hugh did a fine job, but the Oscar should be between DDL and Phoenix.

  22. moon says:

    it’s his fourth oscar actually

  23. Kate says:

    Daniel Day-Lewis has won 2 Best Actor Oscars, for My Left Foot and There will be blood already – however deserving his performance, that might make Academy voters less likely to bestow further largesse. This latest interview sent me back to IMDb for the “personal quotes” section : I love the way he expresses himself about his work, and it makes it understandable why he makes comparatively few movies.

  24. Nina says:

    I fell in love with him in The Unbearable Lightness of Being… so so so sexy!! He’s definitely a bit of an oddball, but I’d rather have that than all the relentless media desperation of people like the Kardashians and that vapid teenager with the huge boobs who’s married to the sleazy older guy. Anyway, doing press for the movie and the awards shows is probably part of his contract.

  25. Fiona Mary says:

    He raised over €250,000 for a hospice in Co.Wicklow from the Dublin premiere of Lincoln, he got Speilberg to auction off memorabilia which he has never done before, DDL is an absolute gent!!