The Spotlight: Vicky Krieps has the perfect explanation of Daniel Day-Lewis' legendary method acting

The Spotlight: Vicky Krieps has the perfect explanation of Daniel Day-Lewis' legendary method acting

No one seems to be able to define method acting as a legitimate practice. We can't even agree if it truly exists. 

The undisputed champion of the supposed process, Daniel Day-Lewis spent months learning to sew in preparation for his role as couturier Reynolds Woodcock in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Phantom Thread.

Speaking with David Poland, newcomer Vicky Krieps tried to explain Day-Lewis' method on set.

"Technically, I didn't know Daniel," Krieps says of working opposite Day-Lewis. "He's supposed to be a method actor and be in character. I don't personally believe in method acting. I think everyone is an actor. I think it's just a way of defining things and finding words for things that are very hard to describe. What is the work of an actor? What do we do? I find it completely OK that you choose to find a definition or a technique. Everyone has their way and his way is to prepare very, very well. I think maybe so well that on the day, you can let go. 

"My approach was the other way around. To not prepare and also to let go. So you meet in the same place. We met in the same place. Then, you work. And it doesn't matter anymore who you are, where you're from. I think it's all one."

According to Krieps, Anderson left several scenes unfinished on the page, allowing for the actors to improvise conclusions.

"Daniel, he was improvising many times," says Krieps. "It's not all in the movie, but things like when he was talking to the ladies that would come to his house, they were improvising a lot. Him and Lady Baltimore (Julia Davis). They had conversations that were so great. I don't know, funny and strange and crazy and that was all improvised. He improvised a lot. 

"Him and Lesley [Manville], one time I remember they had a fight and they came out of the room and they were [covered] in food. I don't know what they did. Probably throwing it at themselves or whatever."

Catch Phantom Thread in theaters now.

(Image via Focus Features)


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