IMDb Polls

Poll: Daniel Day Lewis' Insane Method Acting

Daniel Day-Lewis is famous for the extreme measures he takes in preparing for film roles.

Which of the following movies do you feel he put in the most amount of effort for?

Discuss the list here

See also: Robert De Niro's Insane Method Acting

Make Your Choice

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    The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

    Learned the Czech language for the role of Tomas and refused to break character for nearly the entire 8-month shoot.
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    My Left Foot (1989)

    While playing the paralyzed poet Christy Brown, he refused to leave his wheelchair and had crew members carry him around the set. He also insisted that all of his meals would be spoon-fed to him.
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    The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

    He taught himself how to live as a survivalist and learned how to hunt animals for food. He refused to eat anything that he hadn't killed, whether it was with his flintlock rifle, or a tomahawk both of which he could use very accurately. He also learned how to build a canoe.
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    The Age of Innocence (1993)

    He checked into the Plaza Hotel in New York under his character's name and walked around New York in period clothing.
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    In the Name of the Father (1993)

    He spent several nights at a time in solitary confinement in the abandoned prison that the film crew were shooting in. He kept himself awake for three days in preparation for an interrogation scene in the film. He also reportedly had crew members randomly throw water on him and verbally abuse him for a realistic IRA prisoner experience.
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    The Crucible (1996)

    He didn't wash himself for the duration of the shoot so he could see what living in 17th century hygiene standards was like. He also built the house that his character lived in in the movie and helped build the set. He also spent some time living in one of the replica houses on set with no electricity or running water.
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    The Boxer (1997)

    He trained for 1½ years to be a professional-standard boxer with former heavyweight champion Barry McCuigan. He also tattooed his own hands.
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    Gangs of New York (2002)

    He took up lessons as an apprentice butcher and always stayed in character on-set. This included talking in a New York accent and sharpening knives between takes. He refused to wear a warm jacket because according to him, it wasn't in keeping with the period. As a result he caught pneumonia but rejected modern medicine when it was offered to him to help with his illness.
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    The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)

    He arranged to live separately from his wife (the director of the film) so he could properly experience the isolation of his character.
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    There Will Be Blood (2007)

    His insistence to stay in character made a fellow actor leave the production. He also learned how to use real oil mining gear for the role, and threw real bowling balls at his co-star Paul Dano in one of the scenes.
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    Lincoln (2012)

    He demanded that everyone, including director Steven Spielberg, would refer to him as "Mr. President" and wouldn't let English cast members speak to him (in their own accents) while trying to get Lincoln's voice right, for fear that it might throw him off.