Daniel Day-Lewis is one of Hollywood’s best-known and most respected actors. Despite officially retiring from acting six years ago, the star is still legendary in Hollywood. And over the years, many stories have emerged about the unique process he goes through to fully inhabit a character.
While some stories seem to cast the actor in a negative light, at least one of his former co-stars has nothing but praise for Day-Lewis. In a recent interview on Name isKate Hudson shared her experience working with him on the 2009 film Ninereveals that she thinks he’s “the best”.
In a recent interview with Sean Evans for his show Name isHudson recalled working with the notoriously busy actor for her 2009 film Nine. When he asked her if it was true that Day-Lewis wrote her notes on custom stationery during production, Hudson replied in the affirmative. “It was the best,” she shared. “I had the best of Daniel. I remember Leonardo DiCaprio telling me not to name names, but Leo once said to me, “How was Daniel? And I was like, ‘The best!’”
But DiCaprio felt different. “‘He [DiCaprio] was like, ‘really? And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, you had it on Criminal Organizations of New York, you have this Daniel. I have Guido.’ I mean, it was like juxtaposing your nemesis trying to kill you and the man trying to sleep with you – two very different Daniel Method actors.”
Describing the notes Day-Lewis would write to her as Guido, Hudson noted that the whole process made her feel very special. Still, she hinted that other actors didn’t have it so easy with him. Especially when DiCaprio collaborated with Day-Lewis in the acclaimed film Criminal Organizations of New YorkDay-Lewis reportedly refused to speak to DiCaprio throughout the film’s shooting in order to add depth to their characters’ relationship in the film.
While DiCaprio later admitted that he found Day-Lewi’s dedication to the characters inspirational, it’s clear that the actor struggled with the process, at least a little. This is far from the only time Day-Lewis has gone deep to flesh out a character for a film project. Reportedly to accurately portray a character suffering from heart disease in the 2005 film The Ballad of Jack and RoseDay-Lewis starved himself, went vegan, and lost a tremendous amount of weight.
Although Day-Lewis had relentlessly devoted himself to method acting until his retirement, he acknowledged that it caused some problems on film sets from time to time. In a 2007 interview with The Telegraph, the actor revealed that to make things work, he has to do it his way.
“I had to – and still have to – create a certain environment. I have to find the right kind of silence, light or noise,” said Day-Lewis. “Whatever it takes – and it’s always different. I know it sounds a bit fussy and a bit ridiculous, but finding your own rhythm is one of the most important things you can discover about yourself… I couldn’t do this work at all if I didn’t do it at my own rhythm would do.”