It’s well known that the world’s greatest actor enjoys stretching his muscles by taking on challenging roles, but his latest has really tested the limits of his craft: the Lincoln star picked up where Clint Eastwood left off by talking to a chair on stage during an award ceremony.
Steven Spielberg presented Day-Lewis with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia awards Wednesday evening. Day-Lewis bounded up on stage with a chair in hand to greet his director. Spielberg, whose jaw dropped as he realised what was to come, shook his head before the actor commenced his acceptance speech.
Once he accepted the award, Day-Lewis began remarking on the elections the evening before, which he said he stayed up until 2am to watch.
“I have to say I am so extremely grateful and glad, taking time out of his very busy schedule, that the recently reelected President was able to make it here tonight,” said the Oscar-winning actor as he gestured to the chair.
The audience whooped and cheered as Day-Lewis struggled to stay in character. He managed to add one final remark to the imaginary Obama: “I know as an Englishman that it is absolutely none of my business, but I am so very grateful that it was you,” he said as the crowd roared its approval.
(MORE: How Eastwood Happened)
Eastwood became a social media sensation following his speech at the Republic National Convention in September in which he rebuked an imaginary Obama on stage — prompting the hashtag #Eastwooding, in which enthusiastic tweeters began uploading photos of themselves angrily pointing at an empty chair.
Day-Lewis insisted however that his little parody was not designed to poke fun. Rather, the method actor said that it was really the challenge that inspired him:
“I love Clint Eastwood. This is no satirical comment on him or his politics or anything else, but I have to say, that when I saw him talking to a chair in front of a room full of strangers I thought: I’ve got to try that!”
The awards ceremony in Los Angeles also feted Daniel Craig, Quentin Tarantino and Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame. Day-Lewis may get a chance to refine his chair sketch, however: the British actor is expected to get a fair few nods for his lead role in Lincoln in the upcoming awards season.