Daniel Day Lewis

Award winning actor from There Will Be Blood (2007) and Gangs of New York (2002) has more in common with the Peter Nappi story than just a shared affinity for Italian culture…he is also a trained shoe maker! The story goes he disappeared from the public eye for almost five years, during which time he became fascinated with shoemaking in Italy.

While on a trip to Italy, Lewis was fitted for a pair of custom shoes, which made him fall in love with the way the shoemakers worked and crafted their masterpieces. Lewis took this as inspiration to self-exile himself to Italy…a bit like Phillip and Dana. He studied under the bespoke shoemaker, or rather shall we call him a shoe master, Stefano Bemer. He met Bemer when he was sent to him for a custom shoe fitting and became enthralled with his craftsmanship and the process. Bemer taught him cutting, shaping, gluing, nailing, and fitting techniques. Lewis went on to apprentice for Bemer for ten months in his workshop in 2001. It took Martin Scorsese seeking out lewis, who had seemingly vanished from the public, for his next film Gangs of New York to withdraw Lewis from his life as a shoemaker. Lewis then went on to star in Hangs of New York, which earned him his third Academy Award nomination. Daniel Day Lewis may be known for his outstanding acting skills and fabulous resume of films, but we like to think of him as a fellow shoemaker as well.