Gangs Of New York came as a relief, following a five-year acting sabbatical during which Day-Lewis moved back to his woodworking suits and, moving to Florence, apprenticed privately as a shoemaker. Hearsay tells us -- the actor has never gone on record -- that in return for food and lodging, Daniel gave his mentor, a master cobbler, acting lessons.
Now, Daniel is back and bigger than ever in Paul Thomas Anderson's critically-raved There Will Be Blood, where he plays silver prospector turning oil tycoon Daniel Plainview. It is a role that didn't offer him much chance to revisit history physically, but the film took two years to raise funds -- which was time he took to read up and imagine a world for Plainview, a world where the prospector-pioneer could really exist.
There has never quite been a perfectionist as Daniel Day-Lewis, and our gain is an undoubted loss to both worlds of carpentry and cobbling. So yeah, thanks a ton, Bob.
Also read: Nominee Spotlight: Paul Thomas Anderson