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Dillon Freasier

Personal information
Birth date1996
Place of birthFort Davis, Texas
OccupationFilm actor, student at Albany I.S.D

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Dillon Freasier (born 1996) was born in the town of Fort Davis, Texas. Freasier was not an actor when chosen for his role in There Will Be Blood. After several unsuccessful attempts to cast established Hollywood child actors, casting director Cassandra Kulukundis began searching for potential actors in rural schools near Marfa, Texas, the film's primary filming location. At a Fort Davis school with "maybe eight boys of the right age", Freasier was singled out by his principal. Kulukundis said, "he just stayed in my mind, so I called [his mother] at home and asked if it was all right if I could come over that night." While racing to another school to see more boys, Kulukundis was pulled over by a traffic cop, who happened to be Freasier's mother, and was let off with a warning. According to The New York Times, director Paul Thomas Anderson "...really wanted a kid who'd grown up around ranches and horses rather than someone coming in and trying to fake that." In an interview, Daniel Day-Lewis told the story of what happened when Freasier's mother researched the past roles of the man who would be playing alongside her son: "She thought she better check out this bunch of people taking care of her son. So she got Gangs of New York. Absolutely appalled! She thought she was releasing her dear child to this monster. And so there was a flurry of phone calls and somebody sent a copy of The Age of Innocence."

In the Los Angeles Times, Day-Lewis spoke about his concerns of how Freasier would react to the more serious scenes: "I started to worry a little bit because we were very close, and I thought, 'Man, how's he going to feel when I start treating him harshly?' So I kind of sat him down. I created this sort of atmosphere…portentous atmosphere. 'Dillon, you know how I feel about you and there are going to be moments … I'm not going to treat you nicely. I want you to understand that I love you.' He looked at me like I was insane." Christy Lemire, the movie critic for the Associated Press, praised Freasier as a "confident newcomer", and the Los Angeles Times labeled him "a budding star". In a film review published in Christianity Today, political philosopher Jean Bethke Elshtain called Freasier's performance "astonishing". During his Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Actor, Day-Lewis said, "I wish my son and my partner H.W. Plainview were up here with me, the mighty Dillon Freasier." Freasier, who had decided to skip the Oscars, was asleep at the time. He was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2007 for his role in the film.

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