When you’re talking about Daniel Day-Lewis you’re talking about one of the most devoted actors in the world when it comes to the craft, which is the biggest reason why we’ve never seen him in a single sequel. His value of the craft that he lived for and breathed, past tense since he’s now retired, is why he would never do a sequel. Anyone watching movies today would know that sequels have taken over in a big way, as have reboots, and remakes, and continuations that have a lot of stars taking on roles that should have been over and done with. But there are some actors that don’t want to take up the roles they made famous simply because they don’t want the chance to ruin something that was already great, and that’s entirely respectable since the idea of continuing a story once it’s reached a comfortable ending point is hard to stomach for some folks that actually like the thought of ‘the end’ at the terminus of a great story. Most of what Day-Lewis has done in his career has been just that, a story with a fitting end that couldn’t possibly be improved on since he gave so much of himself to each role he played. He’s been known as one of the best and most dedicated method actors alive since he actually takes on the persona of the individual that he’s playing, sometimes to such an extreme that he’s had to dial it back a bit in order to maintain his health.
Honestly, some of his characters wouldn’t even warrant a sequel since two of his best, Lincoln and Bill Cutting, were both dead by the end of their respective movies. Plus, the performance he gave for each role he’s been in would be cheapened more than a little by having him take up the same role again. Some stories don’t need to be continued, which is a point that Hollywood has yet to get apparently when it comes to many ideas, since so many sequels have been pushed over the years it’s hard to remember what an original idea is sometimes. They’re still out there, and there are still plenty of movies that are of the one and done variety, but the idea is apparent that sequels are where the money is at sometimes and so long as people are willing to pay, the industry will keep pumping them out as ‘original’ ideas that keep bringing back the same characters and creating ‘new’ scenarios that people want to see. It’s too dismissive to say that Hollywood is kind of a joke at this point, but the fact remains that as much as anyone is going to hope for original content it’s more likely that we’ll continue to see one sequel, reboot, and remake after another that features a lot of the same actors or will continue to retcon one role or another in order to keep the name and the idea but ditch the actor and replace them with someone else. Hopefully, this never happens with Day-Lewis’ movies since he’s created masterpieces that are nothing short of amazing since the characters he’s created aren’t always one hundred percent genuine but are still great enough that seeing them done by anyone else would be kind of an insult.
Lewis managed to avoid doing sequels for his entire career which is impressive since while there are plenty of actors that have never done sequels, the idea is still too prevalent since a lot of actors apparently don’t mind taking on the same role over and over. If it can be done in a way that sees the same characters take on a different aspect of the same story or take on a different arc altogether there’s a lot of promise in the act, but otherwise, it becomes the same thing over and over and over. The ability to simply act in one movie and then turn around to become someone entirely different in another movie is something that a lot of actors can accomplish, but the degree to which Day-Lewis took it is something that not everyone can copy since he went to such extremes that one might have thought he was truly like the individual he was portraying. Personally, I have two favorite characters by Daniel, that of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood and Bill Cutting in Gangs of New York. There are a few similarities between the two men, but in many ways, they’re as different as can be. Where Plainview is a hard and demanding man that grows even worse with age, Cutting is a killer and makes no move to convince people otherwise. Plainview was a very clean-cut and well-spoken individual that knew how to work people, while Bill was more of a polite ruffian that could get down and dirty at the drop of a hat. Both characters were among Day-Lewis’ best, and helped to increase the impressive career he cultivated for so long.
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