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The portraits of Daniel Day-Lewis

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We look back on the 'Lincoln' star's many meticulous performancesBy Sean AxmakerSpecial to MSN Movies"I most enjoy the loss of self that can only be achieved through detailed understanding of another life - not by limping and growing a moustache." -- Daniel Day-Lewis.Is there an actor who commits himself so completely to a role as Daniel Day-Lewis? A consummate method actor, he researches roles meticulously, learns the crafts of his characters (from boxer to butcher) in preparation for his performance, and carries the role with him off screen until production ends. For almost two decades he has been the most commanding presence in his films. That kind of dedication takes its toll. He takes long breaks between films to recharge with his family. His career has weathered rumors that he'd become a hermit (he is, in fact, quite private), that he'd quit acting to become a cobbler or a cabinet maker (he likes to work with his hands), and that he remains doggedly in character off the set. They are, at best, exaggerations of an approach that can appear obsessive. As he once explained: "I am intrigued by a life that seems very far removed from my own. And I have a sense of curiosity to discover that life and maybe change places with it for a while." Now he takes on one of the most revered American presidents for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." While he'll surely be compared to the incarnations of Henry Fonda (in "Young Mr. Lincoln") and Raymond Massey ("Abe Lincoln in Illinois"), his Lincoln will also be stacked up against his own cast of memorable characters. Here are ten of his most committed performances, and the stories behind the incarnations.Bing: More about Daniel Day-LewisWant more Movies? Be sure to like MSN Movies on Facebook and follow MSN Movies Twitter.(Dreamworks Pictures)
© DreamWorks Pictures
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