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Film

"The world's greatest actor," according to Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson has worked with some of the most talented artists of our time, ranging from the the enormously gifted Joaquin Phoenix to the legendary late powerhouse Philip Seymour Hoffman. Combined with his expansive knowledge of film history as well as his familiarity with the landscape of modern cinema, it is safe to say that Anderson is certainly an authority when it comes to recognising acting talent.

Known for his modern masterpieces such as There Will Be Blood and The Master among others, Anderson has developed a reputation as a new age auteur who only collaborates with the very best. When Paul Thomas Anderson labels an actor as “the world’s greatest,” it is an opinion that deserves some serious consideration.

One of his most famous and celebrated collaborators has been Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the most acclaimed acting talents in recent memory. According to Anderson, Day-Lewis deserves all that praise and so much more because he approaches his work with intense passion as well as extensive expertise about his craft.

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Anderson revealed: “I think the impression that people might get about Daniel is that he’s very serious. He’s not… Absolutely, he does that. You don’t go to work with Daniel Day-Lewis, you go to work with whoever his character is. That’s who you see when you get to work in the morning and that’s who leaves at night.”

Continuing, Anderson commented that Day-Lewis’ method acting process is so intense that his sense of humour adapts to that of his character: “He’ll joke in character,” he said. “I know it sounds bizarre but actually, from a director’s point of view, it’s incredibly helpful. You have your own three dimensional character living there for you so you just follow him and film him.”

However, Anderson reprimanded Day-Lewis for watching terrible television shows which he would convince the filmmaker to indulge in as well: “He has, for the world’s greatest actor, the worst taste in television. He was particularly obsessed, a few years ago, with Naked and Afraid… Each week, he’d tune in.”

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