Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln, There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York

DreamWorks, Paramount Vantage, Miramax

At this point, it's just gotta be one or the other.

You have to ask yourself: Is Daniel Day-Lewis an alien—or an android?

The star of Lincoln, in theaters all over the universe this weekend, was either sent to Earth by an extraterrestrial race of Method-trained life forms intent on dominating humanity through pure captivation. Or he's a manmade, technologically sophisticated acting-bot programmed to make his human counterparts in Hollywood look like a bunch of self-important carbon-based schlubs.

There's just no way an ordinary mortal could be this good in every single movie he's in.

A title role in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln biopic is just the latest in a long line of evidence that DDL is a specially engineered ringer. To help determine whether he was born in another galaxy or built in a secret government lab, consider some of his most accomplished turns:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988): In an early highpoint, Day-Lewis convincingly mugs, cavorts and laments his way through a swirl of polyamorous intrigue and political upheaval. Hard to say, but we reckon android with the source text by novelist Milan Kundera converted to binary code.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com

My Left Foot (1989): A fearless turn in the true-life tale of Irish artist Christy Brown earned Day-Lewis his first Oscar. It's nearly impossible to believe that a machine, no matter how advanced, could muster this level of human empathy and emotional complexity. So, alien.

In the Name of the Father (1993): Again with the awesomely soul-wrenching Irish biopics—this one about wrongful convict Gerry Conlon. DDL's stunning performance notwithstanding, his facial features are too chiseled to be organic. Let's go with android.

The Boxer (1997): A third go-round with director Jim Sheridan, who at this point starts to look like the programming mastermind behind a lean, boundlessly talented C-Thesp-PO. Android again, but props for making the pugilist abs and the bleeding head look so convincing.

Gangs of New York (2002): This one's tough. As ruthless crime boss Bill the Butcher, he combines the otherworldly charisma of a Disney villain with cold brutality of a T-1000. Gonna go with android by a nose, just because the mustache looks too good to be real.

There Will Be Blood (2007): Back to alien here. The careful study of oil production and old time religion suggests a larger body of homework on what it takes to motivate and ultimately devastate the human animal. Oh, and chalk up Oscar number two for the would-be space invader.

Nine (2009): Hmmm. He's not quite as at-home in this musical that generated some oh-so-rarefied mixed reviews, though his body does mostly move with a notable level of precision. We're thinking android, possibly infected by some malware via Kate Hudson.

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln


Lincoln (2012): Definitely alien, if only because Spielberg has such a solid track record of dignifying space creatures (Close EncountersE.T.). Placing him inside the White House is surely a strategic bit of intergalactic subterfuge, intended to get us all used to the idea of an alien overlord.

What's your call: Alien or android?

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