Daniel Day-Lewis Dedicates His SAG Award to Heath Ledger
by Alex Billington
January 28, 2008
I'm sorry that this is the day that so many heartfelt tributes to Heath Ledger are mentioned, but they're too incredible to be passed up. I'm less worried that I'm posting so many and more worried that these are going to cause so many people to get upset again. As I mentioned yesterday, Daniel Day-Lewis won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for There Will Be Blood. In his brilliant acceptance speech, Day-Lewis dedicated his SAG award to Heath Ledger, a man he has never met and never worked with but has immense appreciation and respect for. What he says about Heath is incredible. Both Christopher Nolan's Tribute to Heath and now Daniel Day-Lewis' dedication are emotional to read, as they are both full of so much heart.
Daniel Day-Lewis's entire acceptance speech has been written out below. You can watch the video of it over at People.com.
Thank you. I'm very, very proud of this. Thank you so much for giving it to me. And I'm very proud to be included in that group of wonderful actors this year.
You know, for as long as I can remember, the thing that gave me a sense of wonderment, of renewal, the thing that teased me with the question, how is such a thing possible, and then dare you to go back into the arena of one more time, with longing and self-doubt, jostling in the balance. It's always been the work of other actors, and there are many actors in this room tonight, including my fellow nominees who have given that sense of regeneration and…
Heath Ledger gave it to me. In "Monster's Ball," that character that he created, it seemed to be almost like an unformed being, retreating from themselves, retreating from his father, from his life, even retreating from us, and yet we wanted to follow him, and yet we're scared to follow him almost. It was unique. And then, of course, in "Brokeback Mountain," he was unique, he was perfect. And that scene in the trailer at the end of the film is as moving as anything that I think I've ever seen. And I'd like to dedicate this to Heath Ledger. So, thank you very much.
Like Forest Whitaker's acceptance speech at last year's Oscars, these are the kind of powerful words that will resonate far and wide. Only someone capable of such an incredible performance as in There Will Be Blood is capable of speaking such moving things in an acceptance speech, and I commend Daniel Day-Lewis for a wonderful tribute and dedication.