Essential Film Stars, Daniel Day-Lewis

The 1985 film, My Beautiful Laundrette, takes place in Thatcher London and focuses on the Ali family, a group of Pakistani immigrants in the London community.  Omar Ali, played by Gordon Warnecke, is assigned the task of running and growing a struggling laundrette owned by the family.  Omar enlists the help of his old friend Johnny, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and with whom he shares a special, romantic relationship.

Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a convincing performance as Johnny, a former London street punk and lover to Omar.  Johnny finds himself entwined with the Ali family through his relationship with Omar, the affections of Tania, Omar’s fiancé, and Omar’s uncle Nasser, who owns the laundrette.  At the climax of the film, Johnny must ultimately choose what is right between where he comes from and the man who he loves.

My Beautiful Laundrette

One of the most talented actors of all time, Daniel Day-Lewis is the only actor to have won the Oscar for Best Actor on three separate occasions.  Daniel Day-Lewis was born in London, England in 1957.  The son of a Poet Laureate and the grandson of Sir Michael Balcon of Ealing Studios, Day-Lewis was destined for success.

Daniel Day-Lewis received his education from the Sevenoaks School in Kent, and later attended Bedales before studying theater at the Bristol Old Vic School.  Daniel debuted with a very small role in 1971’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, but kept to the stage for the following ten years.  After acting with the Bristol Old Vic Company and Royal Shakespeare Company, Daniel Day-Lewis picked up a flurry of roles on the early 1980’s.

In 1985 Daniel Day-Lewis had two films open on the same day in New York, instantly delivering evidence of his wide range and talent.  Day-Lewis went on to deliver stellar cinematic performances from the 1990’s through the present.

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Beginning his career on the stage, Daniel Day-Lewis made the successful transition into film in the 1980’s.  His first major role came in the 1984 film, The Bounty, quickly followed by 1985’s A Room with a View, and My Beautiful Laundrette, which both opened in US markets on the same day.

In 1989, Daniel Day-Lewis achieved his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in My Left Foot.  After a short hiatus, Day-Lewis returned with equally stunning performances as Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans and the Scorsese-directed The Age of Innocence, after turning down the lead role in 1993’s Philadelphia.

Day-Lewis later met his wife working on the Arthur Miller adaptation of The Crucible in 1996.  The 2000’s gave way to some of Day-Lewis’ most memorable performances, including those in Gangs of New York, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, There Will Be Blood, and Lincoln.

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
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