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

By Gregory Kirschling
Updated November 24, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

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.”

”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.”