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Daniel Day-Lewis's Quotes

Daniel Day-Lewis profile photo

Born: 1957-04-29
Profession: Actor
Nation: British
Biography of Daniel Day-Lewis

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A lot of guys in jail tattoo their hands.

Tags: Guys, Hands, Jail

At a certain age it just became apparent to me that this was probably the work that I would have to do.

Tags: Age, Apparent, Work

Germans don't speak in a German accent, they just speak German.

Tags: Accent, German, Speak

God knows, I haven't always been successful.

Tags: God, Knows, Successful

How can you be a recluse in a house full of children, even if you had the inclination to be, which I don't?

Tags: Children, Full, House

I became conflicted in my late teens.

Tags: Late, Teens

I broke things to get attention.

Tags: Attention, Broke

I can't re-examine work I did in the past with pride.

Tags: Past, Pride, Work

I depleted myself to the point where I had nothing left.

Tags: Depleted, Left, Point

I don't deal at all well with the relative amount of stuff I have to face already.

Tags: Deal, Face, Stuff

I don't feel my son should pay the price for what I do.

Tags: Pay, Price, Son

I don't torture myself.

Tags: Torture

I feel less often compelled to do the work than I was in the past.

Tags: Often, Past, Work

I find it difficult to be in rooms now for long periods of time. I can usually take it for about an hour. Then I stride out.

Tags: Difficult, Hour, Time

I find it easier to work when it's quiet.

Tags: Easier, Quiet, Work

I hate the domestic life.

Tags: Domestic, Hate, Life

I like to cook things very slowly.

Tags: Cook, Slowly

I like to learn about things.

Tags: Learn

I love to sit and watch people. I love to sit and listen to people.

Tags: Listen, Love, Sit

I made the film in spite of Harvey, not because of Harvey.

Tags: Film, Spite

I never retreat from films, as it were, I simply indulge in other interests, that's all.

Tags: Films, Interests, Simply

I still relate to my father very much. I mean, I talk to him in a certain way, as we do talk to the dead.

Tags: Father, Him, Mean

I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it's no problem for me to believe that I'm somebody else!

Tags: Else, Problem, Somebody

I suppose it's a very highly developed form of denial, but some part of me completely denies that I'm a performer.

Tags: Denial, Highly, Performer

I suppose the place where I live is fairly remote, it would seem remote to some people.

Tags: Fairly, Place, Seem

I think some actors thrive on working at a much greater pace than I do.

Tags: Greater, Pace, Working
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I would wish for any one of my colleagues to have the experience of working with Martin Scorsese once in their lifetime.

Tags: Experience, Wish, Working

I'd always felt very strongly in the power of vocation.

Tags: Felt, Power, Vocation

I'm a warrior when it comes to pursuing roles.

Tags: Pursuing, Roles, Warrior

I'm not keen on history being tampered with... to any extent.

Tags: Extent, History, Keen

I'm not picky, quite honestly.

Tags: Honestly, Picky, Quite

I'm not really a storyteller myself - I tend to get all tangled up when I try and tell stories.

Tags: Stories, Tell, Try

I'm not sure you learn anything on film sets.

Tags: Film, Learn, Sure

I'm very often still very much alive for that other being and that other world long after the film is finished.

Tags: After, Alive, Often

I'm woefully one-track-minded.

Tags: Lucky

I've got a serious-looking head.

Tags: Head

If people take an interest in you and they think there's half a chance, they might hang on. It's dreadful.

Tags: Chance, Interest, Might

If you have a certain wildness of spirit, a cabinet maker's workshop is not the place to express it.

Tags: Express, Place, Spirit

If you remain unsettled by a piece of writing, it means you are not watching the story from the outside; you've already taken a step towards it.

Tags: Means, Story, Writing

It didn't occur to me that it was possible to breathe life into Abraham Lincoln.

Tags: Breathe, Life, Possible

It must be hard interviewing actors.

Tags: Hard

Making a film, setting it up and getting it cast and getting it together, is not an easy thing.

Tags: Easy, Making, Together

Many years ago, I really didn't know where the next work was coming from.

Tags: Coming, Next, Work

My curiosity sustains me for the period of the shoot.

Tags: Curiosity, Period, Shoot

My main memories of my father are of his illness.

Tags: Father, Illness, Memories

My preference is that, that day when someone sticks a tripod in front of you with a camera on the top, it is not day one.

Tags: Camera, Someone, Top

Periodically over the years I've always taken periods of time away from acting.

Tags: Acting, Away, Time

The last time I was on a small set would've been probably My Left Foot.

Tags: Last, Small, Time

The whole thing of weight, I guess it's because there is a wider fascination we all have with weight.

Tags: Guess, Weight, Whole

There are always practical decisions to be made about any character you're playing.

Tags: Character, Decisions, Playing

There must've been some part of me that wanted to make my mark. But there was never a defining moment.

Tags: Mark, Moment, Wanted

To people who don't know me I'm defined by a number of things that people know about me that are entirely untrue.

Tags: Defined, Number, Untrue

Very often there's this misapprehension about actors being people that need to display themselves, to reveal themselves in public.

Tags: Often, Public, Themselves

We all live under some repression; we have to, it's part of the deal.

Tags: Deal, Repression

Well, we all have murderous thoughts throughout the day, if not the week.

Tags: Thoughts, Throughout, Week

When I did make the decision to focus on acting, I think my mother was just relieved for me that I had finally started to focus.

Tags: Decision, Focus, Mother

Where I come from, it was a heresy to say you wanted to be in movies, leave alone American movies.

Tags: Alone, Movies, Wanted

You can never fully put your finger on the reason why you're suddenly, inexplicably compelled to explore one life as opposed to another.

Tags: Life, Put, Why

The one thing that I appear to have been given, bearing in mind that I am capable of being very, very scatty and extremely lazy, is the ability to concentrate on something I choose to give my time to.

Tags: Lazy, Mind, Time

As a member of the audience I don't like it that I can't see what's going on in the eyes and in the face and in the most subtle responses of a performer when I'm more than a few rows back. I find it very frustrating.

Tags: Eyes, Face, Few

The West has always been the epicentre of possibility. One of the ways we forge against mortality is to head west. It's to do with catching the sun before it slips behind the horizon.

Tags: Against, Head, Sun

When I've gone back to work, it's always with that sense of inevitability. That may be a complete delusion, but it's the one that I need to get out of bed and go about my business. That sense that I can't avoid this thing. I better just get on with it.

Tags: Business, May, Work

As actors, we're all encouraged to feel that each job is the last job. They plant some little electrode in your head at an early stage and you think, 'Be grateful, be grateful, be grateful.'

Tags: Grateful, Job, Last

Films exhaust me, they do, and I often want nothing more to do with them, but I'm continually surprised at the resurgence of the impulse to come back and do it all over again.

Tags: Again, Films, Often

I avoid talking about the way I work. But in avoiding it I seem only to have encouraged people to focus their fantasies about me in an ever more fantastical way.

Tags: Focus, Talking, Work

I can't honestly account for the very personal response that I have to one story and not another, a sense of an orbit, the orbit of a world that draws me as my own life recedes.

Tags: Another, Life, Sense

I come from not just a household but a country where the finesse of language, well-balanced sentence, structure, syntax, these things are driven into us, and my parents, bless them, are great custodians of the English language.

Tags: Country, Great, Parents

I don't know what impression you might have of the way I live. I live in a quiet place. I do not live as a hermit, though other people would prefer it if I did.

Tags: Might, Place, Though

I see a lot of movies. I love films as a spectator, and that's never obscured by the part of me that does the work myself. I just love going to the movies.

Tags: Love, Movies, Work

I think I have a strange relationship with time. I'm not really aware of that time passing. I don't feel that I'm wasteful with time. But I'm not aware of it passing.

Tags: Aware, Strange, Time

In all fields of creativity you see the result of work that has become habit. Where the creative impulse has become flaccid or has died out altogether, and yet because it is our work and our life we continue to do it.

Tags: Creativity, Life, Work

One of the great privileges of having grown up in a middle-class literary English household, but having gone to school in the front lines in Southeast London, was that I became half-street-urchin and half-good-boy at home. I knew that dichotomy was possible.

Tags: Great, Home, School

Quite honestly, if I were doing work related to a living being or historical being where there was visual or audio recordings available, I would find that extremely difficult because I don't know how you would avoid the process of mimicry. And mimicry, to me at any rate, is a very dull prospect.

Tags: Difficult, Living, Work

There's nothing worse than finding yourself in a situation, a very demanding piece of work, and knowing that you're not a true ally to the person who's in charge of all that.

Tags: True, Work, Yourself

When I do work, I feel the same sort of urgency as I ever did. If I didn't feel that, I don't think I would wish to be doing it. I wouldn't really see the point.

Tags: Point, Wish, Work

I didn't like the idea of being foolish, but I learned pretty soon that it was essential to fail and be foolish.

Tags: Idea, Learned, Pretty

Perhaps I'm particularly serious, because I'm not unaware of the potential absurdity of what I'm doing.

Tags: Perhaps, Potential, Serious

A voice is such a deep, personal reflection of character.

Tags: Character, Deep, Personal

I just knew at an early time in my life how important privacy was.

Tags: Knew, Life, Time

When I was younger, I made some decisions that I shouldn't have. And, in hindsight, I've almost always been wrong when I haven't listened to myself.

Tags: Almost, Decisions, Wrong

I was a savage for so many years of my life. There was some seed of determination in me that I was not conscious of. I was mostly consciously getting into trouble and drunk.

Tags: Drunk, Getting, Life

Being at the centre of a film is a burden one takes on with innocence the first time. Thereafter, you take it on with trepidation.

Tags: Film, Takes, Time

I'm a little bit perverse, and I just hate doing the thing that's the most obvious.

Tags: Bit, Hate, Obvious

It is awesome to feel you are carrying on the family name.

Tags: Awesome, Family, Name

England is obsessed with where you came from, and they are determined to keep you in that place, be it in a drawing room or in the gutter.

Tags: Keep, Place, Room

I have a strange relationship with time. I'm not aware of it passing.

Tags: Aware, Strange, Time

I like things that make you grit your teeth. I like tucking my chin in and sort of leading into the storm. I like that feeling. I like it a lot.

Tags: Feeling, Storm, Teeth

I live in a landscape, which every single day of my life is enriching.

Tags: Landscape, Life, Single

It's a source of great sadness to me that my father died without having seen me do anything worthwhile. He was constantly having to make excuses for me.

Tags: Great, Sad, Sadness

Actors should never give interviews.

Tags: Give, Interviews

At some point in your life, if you're lucky, you get to design the way in which things evolve.

Tags: Design, Life, Point

Everybody has to know for themselves what they're capable of.

Tags: Capable, Everybody, Themselves

For about a year, I just didn't know what to do. I did laboring jobs, working in the docks, construction sites.

Tags: Jobs, Working, Year

For as long as I can remember, the thing that gave me a sense of wonderment and renewal... has always been the work of other actors.

Tags: Remember, Sense, Work

How people are around a director, it really does affect everything, every detail of the life of the movie.

Tags: Director, Life, Movie

I had a very vivid, almost hallucinatory moment in which I was engaged in a dialogue with my father.

Tags: Almost, Father, Moment

I hate wasting people's time.

Tags: Hate, Time, Wasting

I have always been intrigued by these lives I have never experienced.

Tags: Intrigued, Lives

Ireland was a place for the renewal of hope and I still see it like that.

Tags: Hope, Ireland, Place

Shoes are strange things. If you take your shoes off in a situation in which you're vulnerable, you'll feel 10 times more vulnerable.

Tags: Off, Strange, Times
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