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Method actors like Day-Lewis are 'miserable' – Hopkins

They are two actors at the peak of their profession who are starring as major historical figures in highly acclaimed new Hollywood movies.

Both Daniel Day-Lewis, in Steven Spielberg's epic 'Lincoln' and Anthony Hopkins in 'Hitchcock', are being tipped for Oscars after capturing the personalities and physical traits of the US Civil War president and the portly English director.

But there could not be a clearer difference between the approach the two men took towards playing their roles.

Day-Lewis, who lives in Wicklow, insisted throughout the filming of Lincoln that the cast – and even Spielberg – refer to him as 'Mr President'.

He urged the other actors to remain in character and keep their accents in his presence, even after shooting had finished for the day.

But Hopkins (74) made clear that he is no fan of such techniques, in comments widely seen as a thinly veiled dig at Day-Lewis's style of acting.

Asked for his thoughts on the 'Lincoln' cast being required to stay in character at all times, he noted bluntly that he had no desire to be addressed as "Mr Hitchcock" on set.

"I think that's a lot of crap," he told the 'Huffington Post' website. "I just don't understand that. If they want to be miserable, that's up to them.

"I've been with actors like that. They're unpleasant to work with and I don't think they're always that good, either."

The two actors have not worked together since the 1984 remake of 'The Bounty', so his final aside does not seem to be a comment directly about Day-Lewis.


For his latest role, Day-Lewis insisted that other actors remain in character even if they were speaking about a sports game or television show. "After a while, I just assumed he was Abraham Lincoln," said Spielberg.

"But why would Abraham Lincoln be helping me shoot a movie about himself?"

"I know I'm not Abraham Lincoln," Day-Lewis told the 'New York Times'. "But mad as it may sound, some part of me can allow myself to believe for a period for time without questioning, and that's the trick."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent