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Friday January 25, 2008 12:02 am

Daniel Day-Lewis Emotional Over Ledger’s Passing

Daniel Day-LewisIn today’s episode of , the talk show host marked her ‘Countdown to Oscar’ with a list of celebrity interviews.  She spoke to several Academy Award nominees via satellite (, ) while some were done in person (, ).

Although many of the shows are pre-taped, this particular Oprah was very current…as was evidenced in Winfrey’s chat with .  The star who rarely does interviews was cheerful and upbeat for most of the conversation.  That is, until talk unexpectedly turned from his movie () to a more somber matter: Heath Ledger.

Day-Lewis was in the process of answering a question (“Is it difficult for you to let go of a character?”) when his mind trailed off.  Maybe it was all the talk about Ledger and his restless nights while playing that made the actor think of him, or maybe it was somethiing else.  Whatever the reason, Daniel (apologetically) became choked up and felt the need to speak out about the untimely death:

“I’m sorry, Oprah.  I hope you don’t mind if I speak about this, but there’s something…I feel very unsettled about at the moment.  I suppose it’s because I only just saw the news about Heath Ledger’s death.  It just seems somehow strange to be talking about anything else.  Not that there’s anything to say really but to express one’s regret…and to say from the bottom of one’s heart to his family and to his friends that I’m sorry for their trouble.  I didn’t know him. I have strong impression I would have liked him very much as a man, if I had.  I had already marveled at some of his work and had looked forward so much to seeing the work that he would do in the future.

I do pray to God that they allow his family, particularly, and friends to grieve in the way that they need to in the weeks and months to come because this is something they are going to be living with obviously for the rest of their lives.”

At a time when most stars are pressed for a response by the hungry paparazzi, this was one of the classiest things I had seen in quite some time.  This interview was Day-Lewis’ time to shine, but he instead chose to divert attention from himself and focus on someone he didn’t even know.  Impressive.

(Click here to read about Daniel’s touching moment at the .)

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