You may find this hard to believe, but I have other pursuits besides venting my impotent rage throughout the internet. Acting, both in film and the stage, has been my cruel artistic bitch godmother since I was in middle school. Like most actors, I am plagued by a massive inferiority complex that leads me to compare myself to all the greats that came before me. Luckily, most of the greats are dead. I was able to coast by with the satisfaction that, barring a zombie resurrection, I always had the potential to exceed the legacy set by greats such as Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, or Bela Lugosi.
And then Daniel-Day Lewis showed up and ruined everything.
I have always had to deal with fellow actors and teachers fawning over every single thing that DD-L has done. From his historical portrayal of a tough guy with personal issues in The Crucible to his historical portrayal of a tough guy with personal issues in Last of The Mohicans to his historical portrayal of a tough guy with personal issues in There Will Be Blood, they have marveled at his extremely versatile acting style. I have done my best to simply ignore his achievements and concentrate on my own craft. And then I read that he was starring in a biographical film about Abraham Lincoln. “Of-fucking-course he is”, I thought. “I wonder if there are any pictures of-OH GODDAMNIT SERIOUSLY?!?!”
This is how aspiring swimmers feel when watching Michael Phelps in the Olympics. “Well, fuck” they say, “might as well take up gardening, I guess.” From sources I have read, he has been perpetually in character on set and the film crew addresses him as “Mr. President”. If there is any film that will cause thousands of actors to renounce their profession and seek careers in more practical and lucrative careers, it’s going to be effing Lincoln. Damn you, Daniel Day-Lewis. Damn you and your defined cheekbones and stupid pirate earrings.
The thing that most annoys me about Daniel Day-Lewis is that every single project that he has chosen has been uber-serious Oscar Bait. In order for him to even consider participating, the part must include a dated dialect, period costumes, and prodigious facial hair. Do you think we will ever see a wacky buddy comedy with Daniel Day-Lewis and Tracy Morgan? Or a fun-for-the-whole-family piece with Daniel Day-Lewis and a talking dog? Of course not. Because Daniel Day-Lewis won’t even pick up the script unless someone is suffering from a debilitating disease, is wrapped in a historical drama, probing the depths of human emotion, or suffering from an emotional debilitating historical disease.
For this reason, I have stopped aspiring to be the greatest actor of my age, mainly because I will never take myself that seriously. Now I just want to be Bill Murray. Because everyone should be more like Bill Murray.