Being an Oscar winner isn't always good news at home
PUBLISHED: 12:21 05 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:21 05 March 2013
Hooray for Daniel Day-Lewis and his third Oscar, but the person I think deserves some kind of award is the man's poor wife, who has to cope with his tiresome method acting and dedication to his 'craft'.
I don’t know much about acting, but I was under the impression that it generally involves pretending to be someone else rather than actually pretending you are someone else and doing mad things like only eating food you’ve tracked, hunted and skinned because you’re in the Last of the Mohicans.
And that’s just the tip of the method-acting iceberg.
Day-Lewis insisted on being lifted around on set and having his meals spoon-fed to him during My Left Foot, he learned Czech for his role in The Unbearable Lightness of Being despite the fact it was filmed in English and he refused to wash during the shooting of The Crucible to get the feeling of how life was in the 17th century (surely they still had rivers in those days? And noses?).
When he was shooting In The Name of the Father, Day-Lewis spent his nights locked in solitary confinement in an abandoned prison, when he worked on Gangs of New York he caught pneumonia because he wouldn’t wear a coat that was “out of keeping” with the period and once filming began on Lincoln, he refused to speak to anyone other than Steven Spielberg and no-one with a British accent was allowed to talk to him in case it “threw him off”.
On the plus side for Day-Lewis’ wife Rebecca Miller, he’s paid millions of pounds, often disappears to abandoned prisons and isolated islands to get into character, can whittle a canoe from a log and is probably brilliant at fending off cold callers on the phone by answering in Czechoslovakian.
On the minus side, imagine asking your other half if he’s put the bins out and him refusing to answer because (a) You didn’t call him ‘Mr President’ (b) You have a British accent and (c) You’re not Steven Spielberg. I think I would get tired pretty quickly.
As a graduate of the Theatre Royal’s junior acting course (I was the only one out of 30 children not to be chosen to play a filthy urchin in Annie – there weren’t even any lines to say. I was that bad) I’m with Spencer Tracy when it comes to acting: “Remember your lines and don’t bump into any furniture”.