Off-Cut Fifty Five
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: A movie where you have to tell a lot of story in a short amount of time – you use yourself up – that’s what you are there to do. You have filled yourself with the possibility of something and then when you are shooting your job is to disgorge that and use it up … to play it out in the game … umm. And yes, it can be exhausting. Everybody works to their limits.
Interviewer: Eli Sunday (Mr Dano) told me that some days it got violent … he was dodging, you were pushing.
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: You can only do that with someone you really like (laughs), you’ve got to REALLY like someone to do that. I really really like Paul. I admire him hugely and I like him so much. So taking a good hiding from him was (smiles) not a pleasure but it was no bother to me. I’m sure he felt the same way.
Interviewer: Do you think Daniel (Plainview) and Paul (Sunday) come from the same class?
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: Very much so. I don’t know whether you can read it but that scene where I’m trying to get his dad to sign the papers, round the lunch table, we recognise each other and I see him for what he is. And I’m pretty sure he knows who I am as well. There’s a recognition there. But from my point of view even though I know I’m to some extent deceiving them, I’m giving them quail prices for lands rich with oil but to my mind there is nothing more ignoble than spiritual fraudulence and that’s what he is guilty of. So, I feel quite a cut above him there.
Interviewer: Is Mr Anderson extremely hands-on when it comes to directing. Does he let you have freedom or is it …
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: HANDS-OFF, hands-off. Which is the sign of, I think, probably somebody who is very very secure of creative power. Hands off! I mean, he is doing what he has to do and he expects us to do what we have to do. And what he creates for us is the ground on which we MIGHT find those things we are looking for. There’s no guarantee we will. But he creates the ground on which we might do it.
Interviewer: Do you think the film speaks to all of us on a certain level. It’s about grief, life … the things that we have in all of us that we deny?
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: I hope so. It’d be nice if it spoke to all of us. It would be a rash assumption to think that it’d be for all of us. But I’d like to believe that if people chose to see the film there’d be something in it that they felt was … they’d understand something about it. Yes, I’d like to feel that was true. Yes.
Posted on The Rehearsal Room Feb 2013
The day DANIEL DAY-EWIS won the best actor Oscar for “Lincoln”
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