“The obsessed prospector in There Will Be Blood.”
“John Proctor, for The Crucible?”
“But there you played a writer who could only type with one foot.”
“I said this was harder buddy. You wanna make something of it? You wanna step outside? Let’s go, c’mon. Whaddaya mean where? Etobicoke buddy, that’s where.”
Still in character, Daniel Day-Lewis is adamantly declaring that his most recent role as a Doug Ford supporter was the most difficult of his storied career, shouting loudly over the CP24 round-the-clock news blaring out of the television, as we sit in a small hotel room in a downtown Toronto Best Western. Day-Lewis is wearing an opened bathrobe with nothing underneath except a faded Argo’s singlet, is on his fourth cup of coffee since we arrived five minutes ago, and just told us he didn’t sleep last night because he couldn’t find any parking.
“What’s this city coming to man? All these bike lanes and no where to putchyer car. Friggin’ ridiculous man. I had to drive to Brampton in the end, and then walk back. Just. Brutal.”
Having previously said that his role as Reynolds Woodcock in Phantom Thread would be his last, DDL admits that no one was more surprised than he to find himself coming out of retirement for one final challenge.
“I’ll be honest, a big part of it was the $75,” the three time Academy Award winner says, without blinking.
“And then just man, friggin’ Wynne eh?” he continues, slipping effortlessly back into Ford Nation. “Amirite? Am I? Because just Wynne man, and that hair and that laugh and all the money. Where did it go? What’s missing? How will we find it? Doug knows bro. Dougie knows. Get. Her. Done. Yeah.”
While Mr. Ford has denied any knowledge of actors being paid to appear outside Citytv studios on Monday evening, prior to the inaugural leadership debate of the upcoming provincial election, Day-Lewis says that’s just him being modest.
“He paid me himself,” says Daniel, hoisting a velvet Crown Royal bag of coins on to the table. “In loonies and toonies. It’s all there. Minus a buck for The Sun this morning. Gotta have my news.”
Asked where this role will take him, Day-Lewis slams his coffee cup down.
“Buddy. If you call this a role one more time we’re going to have words. Strong ones. That you won’t like. My support for Doug Ford comes from in here,” he points to his chest. “Not here,” he points to his head. “Not there,” he points to the TV. “Not anywhere, but right here beneath my ribs, probably close to my heart, I’m not sure, yes I have felt some numbness in my fingers lately but I really didn’t think it was anything to worry about, just get me back on the ice Doc we gotta a game to play. Can’t let the Liberals know I’m hurt. Where are my frickin’ skates?”
He carries on for a while, muttering in ever-tighter circles until finally he dozes off, mug in hand, railing at the world. He is masterful. He is the actor of a generation. He is a (paid) Doug Ford supporter.