Just A Minute With: Actor Daniel Day-Lewis

Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:14am EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the top actors of his generation for a range of roles, from his Oscar-winning portrayal of a cerebral palsy victim in "My Left Foot" to currently playing "There Will Be Blood."

The latter movie stars the 50-year-old British actor as an early 20th Century oil prospector named Daniel Plainview who earns great wealth but at a personal cost to his soul.

Day-Lewis is known for delving deeply into his roles but in an interview with Reuters he was lighthearted and witty when talking about work, his new movie and life with his wife, writer/director Rebecca Miller, and the tattoos on his arms:

Q: It's been two years since we last saw you in "The Ballad of Jack and Rose," which was written and directed by Rebecca. So what've you been doing?

A: "I've been working. It's taken three years to make this film. Two years in getting ready, four or five months shooting, and a year cutting. It feels like it's been my life for three or four years now."

Q: I talked to "There Will Be Blood" writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, and he said that you and he worked closely on the writing and the development of Daniel Plainview.

A: "Paul didn't need any help with the script. Having met and decided to throw our lot in together we, over months and months and months, we discussed the shaping of Daniel ... I could spend 10 years making a movie if it was a subject that interests me. You have to limit the shooting because you can only mine so much out of yourself. But during preparation, it is a period of nourishment."

Q: What do you do over three years to prepare and make a film?   Continued...

<p>British actor Daniel Day-Lewis (R) smiles next to director Paul Thomas Anderson at the 33rd annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards in Los Angeles January 12, 2008. Day-Lewis and Anderson received the awards respectively as best actor and best director for "There Will Be Blood". REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>