Director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis recently sat down with ComingSoon.net. The topic of their conversation?
There Will Be Blood, this pair's critically acclaimed Oscar contender:
ComingSoon.net: What was the inspiration and impetus for adapting the Upton Sinclair novel into a movie and for Daniel, this movie was written with you in mind, so what was the collaboration like and what was the challenge to play such a miserable pr*ck in this movie?
Daniel Day-Lewis: No challenge. (laughter)
P.T. Anderson: I think the arc goes like that (does a downwards sweeping gesture with arm) goes from miserable to more miserable hopefully. The inspiration for the movie first and foremost comes from the book. I'd been trying to write something, anything, just to get something written.
I had a story that wasn't really working that was about two fighting families and it didn't really have anything, just that premise. When I read the book, there were so many ready-made scenes and the great venue of the oilfields. Those were the obvious things that seemed worth making a film about, and the desire to work with Daniel certainly, once that presented itself as a possibility, certainly drove the engine for me to write it and to finish it and to get it to him.
Day-Lewis: I never really saw him as a miserable pr*ck, but I supposeâ€¦ I don't know what the challenge is. The challenge, I dare say, is the same as it always is, which is to try and discover a life that isn't your own.
Plainview, as he came to me in Paul's beautiful script, was a man whose life I didn't understand at all. It was a life that was completely mysterious to me and that unleashed a fatal curiosity, which I had no choice but to pursue.