Actor Daniel Day-Lewis describes how he got the role of Dublin writer Christy Brown in the film My Left Foot.

Daniel Day-Lewis explains how he came to learn about Christy Brown and to play him in the film My Left Foot. 

Christy Brown (1932 - 1981) was a writer, painter and poet who had severe cerebral palsy. The film My Left Foot tells the story of his life.

A few years ago, Daniel Day-Lewis met theatre and film producer Noel Pearson. Over the course of an evening Noel told Daniel the story of Christy Brown's life. Without knowing anything more about him, Christy became a hero to Daniel. 

Having read the script for My Left Foot he was gripped by how beautifully it was written. While nervous about playing a hero of his, he felt compelled to take on the role. 

Extraordinarily difficult part to play because of his condition and trying to recreate that condition.

Although Daniel never met Christy Brown, film director Jim Sheridan showed him a recording of Christy on 'The Late Late Show' experimenting with the use of colourful language. This helped him to get an insight into his character.

What Daniel found most interesting about the script was that Christy's disability was not a predominant feature. Christy Brown was a pioneer charting new territory. 

He confronted his own fears, which takes huge courage and he confronted other people's fears head on.

This episode of 'The Late Late Show' was broadcast on 3 March 1989. The presenter is Gay Byrne.