The Acting Life of Daniel Day Lewis

Daniel Day Lewis was born in London, in 1957, the son of actress Jill Balcon and the Irish Poet Laureate Cecil Day Lewis. He made his film debut at the age of 14 in Sunday Bloody Sunday in an uncredited role. After leaving school he was accepted into the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He landed a small part in Richard Attenbourgh’s epic Gandhi in 1982 after which followed a number of roles in film and on the stage.

He began to attract public attention in 1986 with the release of two films – My Beautiful Laundrette and A Room with a View. In 1987 he assumed the leading role in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, during the eight month shoot he learned Czech and refused to break character on or off the set for the entire shooting schedule. He was awarded an Oscar in 1989 for his portrayal of writer Christy Brown in Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot. He starred in the Last of the Mohicans in 1992, and in Martin Scorcese’s The Age of Innocence in 1993.

He worked again with Jim Sheridan on In the Name of the Father and The Boxer, after which he went into semi-retirement moving to Florence to learn the craft of shoemaking. After a five year absence from acting Day Lewis returned in Scorcese’s Gangs of New York. In 2007 he appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, titled There will be Blood for he won his second Oscar. Day Lewis currently holds dual Irish and British citizenship.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland.

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