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Daniel Day-Lewis is, arguably, the best living actor. He may very well be the greatest actor of all time, having won an unmatched three Best Actor Oscars for his intense method work in some wonderful films. Day-Lewis has taken time away from acting over the years, only to return and dominate the screen. Here are 11 things about Daniel Day-Lewis you may not have known…
1. Several times, Day-Lewis was offered and turned down the role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings trilogy.
2. According to Harvey Weinstein, Day-Lewis was taking time off to work as a cobbler in Florence, Italy when Weinstein, director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio lured him into coming back to New York “on false pretenses” so they could persuade him to accept lead role in Gangs of New York.
3. While shooting Gangs of New York, Day-Lewis got sick on set and refused to take a thicker, warmer coat instead of his thin coat because the warmer coat didn’t exist in the 19th century.
4. Always quiet and introverted, he said that he was not popular in school and was mocked as an outsider while growing up in England, partially because he was of half-Jewish/half-Irish stock. The upside was that, instead of socializing, he developed a rich fantasy life that later helped him to delve so deeply into his characters.
5. Was considered for the role of Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ, but director Mel Gibson thought he looked “too European” and the part instead went to Jim Caviezel.
6. Late in the run of the 1989 production of “Hamlet” at the National Theatre in London, he reported that he had a strange sensation that he was talking to his father, who died of pancreatic cancer when Daniel was 15. Unnerved, he walked off the stage and never returned. He still doesn’t like to talk about it.
7. He first became interested in acting when he learned to replicate the accent and mannerisms of people in his neighborhood to avoid standing out to bullies.
8. He is the son-in-law of playwright Arthur Miller.
9. Day-Lewis is not only a cobbler, but a skilled woodworker and carpenter, ironic since he was passed over for the role of Jesus Christ.
10. After Michael Madsen was found to be unavailable for the part, Day-Lewis tried to get the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, one of the few times he actively pursued a part. However, by that point in the casting, Quentin Tarantino had John Travolta in mind for the part.
11. While filming The Ballad of Jack and Rose on Prince Edward Island, Canada, he lived alone in a hut on the beach, away from his wife, director Rebecca Miller, and their children.