The news that Daniel Day-Lewis is planning to retire from acting has left movie fans shocked as it will deprive the film industry of possibly the greatest actor of this generation.

He's the only person to ever win three Best Actor Oscars beginning with his astonishing portrayal of Christy Brown in Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot in 1989. He won again twice more, for his role as the ruthless oil prospector in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood and for his eponymous role in Lincoln.

Since making his screen debut as a teenager in Sunday Bloody Sunday in 1971, through to modern classics such as My Beautiful Laundrette and Scorcese's Gangs of New York, he has been an actor without peer largely due to the intense preparations he puts into each role.

He's probably the most famous 'method actor' of modern times and is famed for the extreme lengths he goes to prepare for each part, whether its confining himself to a wheelchair during production, learning to build a canoe or even allowing himself to succumb to pneumonia for the sake of his art.

Here's a look back at some of his maddest method moments as an actor.

  1. He learned Czech for his part in the 1988 adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness Of Being 
  2. Day-Lewis refused to leave his wheelchair on the set of My Left Foot and had to be carried around by crew members. He also insisted on being spoon fed

  3. During preparations for Last of the Mohicans, he lived in the wilderness and learned to build a canoe. He also learned to track, hunt and skin animals
  4. Prior to the start of Age of Innocence he walked around New York for two months with a top hat and cane
  5. During the making of Jim Sheridan's In the Name of the Father he subjected himself to 72 hours of solitary confinement inside an abandoned prison 

  6. He spent 18 months training to be a boxer for, well, The Boxer 
  7. Day-Lewis apparently listened to Eminem to build up the rage he needed for Gangs Of New York and also trained as a butcher in preparation for the role as Bill The Butcher
  8. He also caught pneumonia on set after he refused to change out of his threadbare period coat
  9. The actor famously scared off Kel O’Neill from There Will be Blood because he continued to bully the actor between takes. O'Neill was later replaced by Paul Dano

  10. On the set of Lincoln, Day-Lewis would only be referred to as Mr President. He also texted his co-star Sally Field in character and sent her nineteenth-century limericks.