BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 13: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Actor Daniel Day Lewis accepts the Best Actor award for Motion Picture, Drama, “Lincoln” on stage during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
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Nominee Profile: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln – 2013)

Famous for both his shyness and the incredible intensity he brings to his roles, Daniel Day-Lewis (56) is a complex actor, who takes long breaks, sometimes of several years, between the parts for which he goes to extraordinary lengths to prepare.

The three-time Oscar winner is the son of the British poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, with whom he had a complicated relationship. Daniel had a distinguished theater career on the London stage before he exploded onto the big screen in 1985 with My Beautiful Launderette. Although he was compared to the likes of Sir Laurence Oliver, it seemed more like Day-Lewis took his acting cues more from the aggressive loners of 1970’s American cinema, like Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and in particular, Robert de Niro.

He won his first Oscar in 1989, playing the Irish writer Christy Brown in My Left Foot – his first of three successful collaborations with director Jim Sheridan. He learned how to track animals for his next role in The Last of The Mohicans and then lived in a prison cell for a few weeks to play the part of Jerry Conlon for In the Name of the Father. He was terrifying as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York. He then starred in Martin Scorsese’s Age of Innocence, followed by The Ballad of Jack and Rose, which was written and directed by his wife Rebecca Miller. He won his second Oscar in 2007 for his part in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood.

Two years later, he played the lead in the very indifferent Nine, a less-than-acclaimed musical variation of the Fellini movie 8 ½. In 2012, he wowed and won all before him in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

In conversation with the HFPA about his famous approach to his parts he revealed that little has changed since he started, except the need to be very physically close to his wife and two sons, Cashel (11) and Ronan (15). “I discovered a long time ago that what I’m able to contribute to the work has been enriched by everything else that’s going on in my life. Family life is so important to me and it’s crucial that they don’t get pushed aside for the sake of a piece of work” he said. Fatherhood is clearly an enduring source of joy for the actor, who also has a 17-year old son Gabriel Kane Adjani, whose mother is the French actress, Isabelle Adjani. (He famously broke up with her via fax, when she was pregnant with their child). He and Rebecca Miller have been married since 1996. Daniels’ intense admiration for her playwright father, Arthur Miller has been well documented.

He remains very close to the director Jim Sheridan, with whom some of his greatest collaborations have taken place and through whom Daniel developed his long and enduring love of Ireland. Their work on My Left Foot, which won him his first Oscar, followed by In the Name of the Father and The Boxer remain some of the work of which he is proudest.

As someone visibly uncomfortable with celebrity and the trappings of fame, living in the countryside in Ireland has given him the refuge and respite from it that might not be possible in London or Los Angeles. In fact, life in Annamoe, County Wicklow, continues to be where he returns to restore himself and occasionally make furniture. He likes how people leave him alone there and his celebrity is not an issue.

“I find people on the whole to be very gracious and unassuming. Even if they do feel the need to say something to you or ask you for a little something, it really is not an intrusion on my life to the extent that it makes any difference whatsoever.”