Have you ever? is a short look back at anything you might have missed from all over the pop culture world.
There is a very good reason Daniel Day-Lewis has the record for most Best Actor Academy Awards. And Mr Day-Lewis is notoriously picking with his roles, often seeming to scan through the scripts looking for any reason to not do the film.
It must say a lot about this 2003 Martin Scorsese period drama that he came out of retirement to take on the role of Bill “The Butcher” Cutting alongside a slightly older than Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio.
The film is set in the middle 19th Century in New York amid a race war between the various gangs; one, fronted by Liam Neeson and eventually DiCaprio, being the Irish immigrants and the other of note being the “Natives”, helmed by Bill the Butcher. What follows is an epic tale of romance, crime and civil war set in Civil War era America.
The film is plagued by some atrocious acting on the part of Cameron Diaz who serves as the romantic interest for DiCaprio but this is more than made up for whenever Bill Cutting returns to the screen. Amongst Day-Lewis’ other method acting roles this seems to pale in comparison but in true form he learnt from a butcher how to correctly carve meat; learnt how to throw knives from some circus performers; didn’t break character between takes and even contracted pneumonia during filming but refused to wear a warmer coat as it wasn’t in keeping with the time period. The effort clearly shows.
I don’t want to spoil any more of the plot but it is well worth a watch. Even if you don’t want to watch it with an anoraky eye, the story is gripping throughout.
If you’ve already seen this film and want to see more like it – try these other Daniel Day-Lewis films:
Last of the Mohicans, There will be Blood, Lincoln