9 Completely Pointless Preparations By Method Actors
5. Daniel Day-Lewis Learned Czech For The English-Language The Unbearable Lightness Of Being
Daniel Day-Lewis is no stranger to extreme role preparation, what with him being the biggest method-lover in the land. What's harder to understand is how exactly Day-Lewis would have benefitted from his particular preparation for Phillip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, a Cold War drama set in Prague concerning Day-Lewis's randy Czech doctor, Tomas. Obviously, Day-Lewis decided it would be a good idea to learn the Czech language for the film - so far, so DDL, and of course it's not the first time an English-speaking actor has learned another language just for a part (see De Niro nailing the Sicilian in The Godfather Part II, and Tilda Swinton taking on both Russian and Italian for I Am Love). The issue in Day-Lewis's case is he doesn't speak a word of Czech in The Unbearable Lightness Of Being - rather, he goes for English in a light Czech accent, just like everybody else in the film. Still, learning a language pointlessly is one of the less extreme things Day-Lewis has done; at least he didn't go feral and live in the woods again (see: The Last Of The Mohicans).
Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1