Only days after making a tearful appearance on Oprah, where actor Daniel Day-Lewis shared his thoughts over the tragic loss of Heath Ledger, the Oscar nominee went even further, dedicating his Screen Actors Guild award to the memory of the young star.
Day-Lewis, who was honored by the Guild for his performance in the turn-of-the-century oil epic There Will Be Blood, took his time at the podium on Sunday night to speak about the Brokeback Mountain star, who was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Jan. 22.
In discussing what gives him the strength to continue to act, Daniel explained, "It’s always been the work of other actors that have given me that sense of regeneration… Heath Ledger gave it to me." He then singled out Heath’s performance in the 2001 film Monster’s Ball, saying of Ledger’s portrayal of prison guard Sonny Grotowski, "you wanted to follow him… you were scared to follow him."
As for Heath’s Oscar-nominated turn as gay cowboy Ennis Del Marr in Brokeback Mountain, Day-Lewis told the SAG audience, "he was unique; he was perfect," adding that the final scene of the film is "as moving as anything I think I’ve ever seen."
Backstage, Daniel continued to talk openly about his admiration for Heath’s work. "I admired him very much. I’m absolutely certain he would have done many wonderful things with his life."