Daniel brings Hollywood glitz to town
€250,000 RAISED FOR LOCAL HOSPICE
DANIEL DAY LEWIS harnessed the power of Hollywood last Sunday to bring Wicklow Hospice Foundation €250,000 closer to its €3 million goal.
A crowd of devoted fans braved the cold to wait outside Dublin’s Savoy cinema for a glimpse of the stars as they arrived on the red carpet for the European Premier of Lincoln.
‘I’m really really grateful that people turned out for this,’ said Daniel, the star of the film and the person responsible for bringing its European premiere to Ireland.
‘We weren’t sure, some of my friends felt that because of the economic situation this kind of event was not possible. So we explored it a little bit and it turns out we could do it.’
The cause is one close to the actor’s heart. He was asked to support Wicklow Hospice Foundation around the time his mother passed away in England.
‘She was in the hospice part of a cottage hospital there. Every single day that I spent with her in that place I was deeply grateful for the level of care and compassion she received,’ he said. ‘She chose to stay there. She could have gone home and she chose to stay in that hospital.’
His passion for the cause rubbed off on his fellow stars, all of whom rallied around Daniel and his adopted home of Wicklow.
‘Daniel explained to us his enthusiasm and passion - how it began, what it is, and I think we all felt that this is the kind of thing that needs to be done on a grand scale all over the world,’ said his co-star Sally Field. ‘It’s just a wonderful thing and I’m thrilled to death to be here.’
Spielberg spent over €40,000 on a set of signed Bono prints at the auction later on in the Burlington, but on the red carpet he was all about Lincoln.
‘ The film is really about the power and responsibility of personal leadership, intimate leadership, about a leader who actually was one of the people,’ he said. ‘ There was no firewall between him and the people who elected him or the compassion he had for the people of the United States of America,’ he said, adding that Abraham Lincoln was ‘one of the most amazing characters in global history.’
And of course to play such a man requires one of the most amazing actors in global history.
‘I never imagined anybody could play Lincoln other than Daniel Day Lewis,’ he said. ‘I approached him three times over a six year period - luckily the third time he said yes!’
Bray boxing star Katie Taylor and her parents Pete and Bridget were among the guests, as well as Enniskerry crooner Chris de Burgh with his wife Diane and their model daughter Rosanna Davison.
Bono and The Edge were there, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan and others from the movie, music and business worlds.
Katie Taylor, radiant in a stunning dress from TK Maxx, was genuinely excited to be there. ‘I can’t wait for the film. It’s going to be a great day,’ she said. ‘I hope we raise as much as possible for the hospice.’
It was Daniel’s day, though, the man who may well be the first ever to win three Oscars for Best Actor.
‘Who knows what will happen,’ he said with his characteristic quiet modesty. ‘ Those things are notoriously unpredictable and this
is a year of incredibly strong films and really wonderful performances.’
The charity was the victor last Sunday, with over a quarter of a million euro put in the pot for Wicklow Hospice Foundation.
‘ It exceeded our expectations,’ said Dr. Brendan Cuddihy, Chairman of the foundation, which already has €2.5 million donated by Wicklow people.
The auction got pretty heated at times, with Steven Spielberg’s own wife bidding against him to drive up the price of the Bono prints.
Other highlights included a painting of Daniel Day Lewis in character as Lincoln. The work was expected to sell at around €3,000 but fetched €16,000 in the end.
Bono’s wife Ali Hewson bought a set of boxing gloves signed by Katie Taylor, as well as tickets to her bout at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. She paid €2,700 for the gloves and tickets.
‘Sinead O’Connor played a stormer,’ said Dr. Cuddihy. The Bray resident sang until 2.30 a.m. at the event, throwing some old favourites she hasn’t performed live in years like ‘Nothing Compares to You.’
He added that the event was a giant step, a ‘ red letter day’ for the founda- tion. ‘ We are so grateful for the generosity of Daniel Day Lewis.’
Meanwhile, Bray-based artist Mark Baker painted a portrait of Steven Spielberg which the director signed for the charity auction at Sunday's Lincoln Ball in The Burlington.
‘I spent the month of January working on the painting, in between other commissions,' said Mark. ‘I included a silhouette of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to express Spielberg's vision of the actor as the great President.'
The painting sold at the function for €4,500.
ABOVE: Daiel Day Lewis, Sally Field and Steven Spielberg at the European premiere of Lincoln in Dublin on Sunday. LEFT: Bono and his wife Ali with U2 Manager Paul McGuinness and his wife Kathy, arriving at the Savoy Cinema on O’Connell Street. FAR LEFT: Steven Spielberg poses for photographs with fans. RIGHT: Olympic gold medal winner Katie Taylor. TOP RIGHT: Chris de Burgh with his wife Diane and daughter Rosanna.
A portrait of Steven Spielberg, painted by Bray-based artist Mark Baker, which was sold at an auction to raise funds for the Wicklow Hospice.