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Day's Work

”The Crucible”’s Daniel Day-Lewis helped build a hut for the film

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What’s a peek at a house built by Daniel Day-Lewis worth? A mere $21. That’s the small price you’ll have to pay to see the Hog Island, Mass., dwelling built with the help of the actor during the making of Fox’s The Crucible.

Capitalizing on the Lewis-Winona Ryder Salem witch-hunt flick, the Essex River Cruises company will begin making stops at the unpopulated Hog Island wildlife refuge in early June. The highlight of the ride — if you don’t count views of cranes and salt marshes — is a visit to the two-story house constructed by the movie’s crew and its leading man.

Seizing the chance to demonstrate his carpentry skills as well as his Protestant work ethic (he plays tortured soul John Proctor in the film), Lewis showed up a few weeks before filming began to help build the 17th-century-style structure. ”He seemed like a regular guy,” says Wayne Mitton, supervisor for the Hog Island trustees, who was also pleased to see the actor learn to drive his own oxen.

Crucible producer David Picker thinks the trustees were wise to leave the site intact. ”They’re a nonprofit organization, and Hog Island doesn’t get a lot of traffic,” says Picker. ”But people will be interested when they see the film.” If only for the house that Daniel built.

With additional reporting by Chris Nashawaty