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Influencing Ledger

How Daniel Day-Lewis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Gary Oldman impress the Aussie actor

Heath Ledger, 27, is a transformer. With his acting coach, the Candy star studies the Alexander Technique, which helps him burrow into roles like gay cowboys and drug addicts by focusing on his posture, movement, and presence. ''I really like to look into the physical acting characteristics of my character, because it helps me to transform.'' Here are the three chameleonlike performances that impress him the most.

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS in My Left Foot (1989)
''It's a remarkable transformation — probably the most remarkable I can think of.''

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN in Capote (2005)
''It's less in the way he walks and more in the way he can mold himself.''

GARY OLDMAN in Sid & Nancy (1986)
''Wow, that is an amazing, amazing performance. I mean, so dirty. He really hits bottom.''

Originally posted Nov 24, 2006 Published in issue #909 Dec 01, 2006 Order article reprints
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