Set in early 20th century California, the film Tuesday earned an Academy Award nomination for best picture, as well as a best actor nod for Day-Lewis and best director and best adapted screenplay nominations for writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson.
Asked recently what the challenge is in playing a miserable character like the one he portrays in "There Will Be Blood," Day-Lewis laughed and told reporters in New York, "No challenge."
"I never saw him as a miserable (jerk)," he continued. "The challenge is, I daresay, the same as it always is -- which is just to try and discover a life that isn't your own and Plainview, as he came to me, in Paul's beautiful script, was a man whose life I didn't understand at all. It was a life that was big and mysterious to me and that unleashed a fatal curiosity, which I had no choice but to pursue."
Competing against Day-Lewis for the best actor Oscar will be George Clooney for his work in "Michael Clayton"; Johnny Depp for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Tommy Lee Jones for "In the Valley of Elah" and Viggo Mortensen for "Eastern Promises."