Tuesday January 29, 2013
Daniel Day-Lewis at 13
Maybe it was when I was reviewing “Lincoln,” and looking up Daniel Day-Lewis' CV on IMDb. Maybe it was earlier. For “Nine”? “There Will Be Blood”?
Daniel Day-Lewis was one of my first “this is the guy that was in that?” actors. You couldn't believe the transformation. I'd seen him in “My Beautiful Launderette” at a small campus theater during my college days, and I was watching “A Room with a View” in an MTV (private movie screening room) in Taipei, Taiwan. I knew the gay tough in “Launderette” was in the film, and good, supposedly, but for the first part of the film I couldn't place him. He's not the blonde-haired dude screaming about beauty, is he? Didn't seem right. Then Cecil showed up and I went, “Oh, my, god.” That's the same dude? Holy crap. All the charm he had displayed in the former had vanished. Then we get that moment at the end when he ties his shoes. He's the wrong man in the story and in his every gesture we feel the weight of being the wrong man in the story. Most wrong men just leave. He tweaks our hearts first.
I always thought “Launderette” was one of his first films, but his credits pre-“Launderette” seem to keep growing, and recently I noticed an even earlier one: “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from 1971. Really? Wouldn't he have been ... 13?
Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has the clip. Here's a screenshot.
Wells calls him unrecognizable but you can see something of the man he'll become. He also reminds me of my older brother, who, at this time, half a world away, while acting at the Children's Theater in Minneapolis, landed a small part in “The Crucible” at the Guthrie Theater as one of the Proctor children. Blair Brown played his mother. Daniel Day-Lewis, of course, would eventually play John Proctor in a movie version in 1996. Crossed paths.