Daniel Day-Lewis is at it again, method acting the crap out of his latest role as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Is he insane? Yes, but he’s also one of the best actors in the past couple of decades so no one’s really complaining.
Method acting, in its simplest form, is investing in the character’s emotions by recalling your own similar emotions and finding a personal identification with the character. The technique has been evolving ever since Marlon Brando put it in the spotlight. It’s not simply losing or gaining weight, like 50 Cent did for that one movie nobody recalls.
Let’s take a look at Day-Lewis’ past method acting highlights:
The Boxer: He trained for 18 months with former world champion Barry Mcguigan. Mcguigan said he could have gone pro.
Gangs of New York: Day-Lewis took up an apprenticeship as a butcher, and he would sharpen knives during breaks in between shooting. The man was also diagnosed with pneumonia on set because he refused to wear modern coats that didn’t exist in the 19th century.
My Left Foot: Playing paralytic Christie Brown, he refused to leave his wheelchair and broke 2 ribs.
Last of the Mohicans: He lived in the wild for half a year, surviving on bare necessities. He probably ended up killing bears and drinking their blood.
In the Name of the Father: Playing a prisoner, Day-Lewis lived in solitary confinement in an abandoned prison. Prisoner ghosts didn’t want to mess with the man since they probably wanted to see the film.
Now, for Lincoln, nothing is out in the open yet besides him not breaking his Lincoln accent since March and having his name on the call sheet as Abe Lincoln. It also looks like he’s rigorously trained his face to look exactly like Lincoln as well.
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