- Golden Globe Awards
2008: Daniel Day-Lewis Honored for “There Will Be Blood”
When, in 2008, Daniel Day-Lewis was fêted with the Best Actor Golden Globe for his work in There Will Be Blood, little did he know it would mark the first of a litany of honors he would receive that year as he dominated the cinematic awards circuit.
Unfortunately, it was also the year of a Writers Guild of America strike. Instead of the usual ceremony, the names of the Golden Globe winners were revealed at a televised special press conference on January 13, at the traditional Ballroom of the Bevelry Hilton hotel, in Beverly Hills.
Day-Lewis’s searing portrayal of Daniel Plainview, a ruthless silver miner turned oil prospector, won in the Best Actor – Drama category, over such formidable competitors as George Clooney in Michael Clayton, James McAvoy in Atonement, Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises, and Denzel Washington in American GangsterThe Great Debaters.
There Will Be Blood was shot over three months, primarily on a ranch in Texas, with Los Angeles hosting some additional location shooting. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and set during Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the movie was loosely based on Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel “Oil!.” Upon completion, the film proved enormously successful with critics, and raked in $76.2 million worldwide on a $25 million budget.
At a Hollywood Foreign Press Association press conference just ahead of his film’s December 2007 release, the now-retired actor talked about the comparisons of his life as a driven actor to that of a miner on a quest for oil. “The work [of acting] is very much a process of mining, and I’ve always had that feeling about it,” Day-Lewis said. “Mining is very often conducted in the dark and in such a way that you have no notion of where the reward will be found — if there is indeed a reward to be found, if you find that shining stuff you’re looking for. When I go to work, it’s [as if I’m in a] fever. That fever takes me very much in the same way as it took those crazy young men that abandoned their perfectly good lives to flee west in the hope of finding the adventure they were looking for.”
Knighted in 2014, Day-Lewis would in 2017 collaborate again with Anderson for what he has deemed (for the time being) his last performance: Phantom Thread, which earned him another Best Actor Golden Globe nomination, his eighth overall, at the 2018 ceremony.
He also received Best Actor nominations for My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, Gangs of New York, and Nine. In 2013, Day-Lewis won his second Golden Globe for the titular role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.