Do the greatest ever realize their greatness?

Getting a paycheck with two commas in it must at least make you consider the possibility.

I’ve seen tons of Daniel Day-Lewis interviews. I don’t think he cares whether people deem him the “greatest.” What matters to him is feeling like he’s not just nailed, but embodied, the role. He doesn’t believe he can truly convey the essence of the character to the audience without he, himself, believing that he really IS the character. That sets him apart from other actors, certainly. But, it also sets him apart from most of the human race, who, if they were to witness his bizarre method acting (e.g. staying in character both on and off screen for months on end), would probably think he was one role away from a mental breakdown.

So, no, I don’t think he cares about or realizes his greatness. However, if he were to take a part where his character was known as the greatest actor ever to live…

The impression I get from really great artists or sports people is that, while they know how good they are (how could they not), they don’t let that get in the way of trying to be better. So they act like they can still improve.

I remember reading that Hendrix used to practice in the back of the van on the way to and from gigs, even though people already thought he was the best guitarist alive.

Truly great people always deny being great. I’m certainly not great.

In most entertainment fields you’re always going to have sycophants following you around telling you how awesome you are. Any actual talent you have is just going to increase that. I would imagine it’s hard for many to resist their own hype.
But imo the greatest realize they have a story or a work that has to be revealed and are more concerned with making their vision come to life than the accolades.


Master Thespian: The Film, starring Daniel Day Lewis as Jon Lovitz …

Master Thespian: The Film, starring Jon Lovitz as Daniel Day Lewis …

I gotta admit, this one would be a LOT funnier! :smiley:

Bobby Fischer on Bobby Fischer:

I feel the same. I am the finest chess player, ever! I will not waste my time proving it by playing another game of it, ever! I have been kinged enough!

I know my greatness. So the answer is yes. This thread can now be locked.

Also, death to the Jewnited States of America.

UFC MW champ Anderson Silva knows it.

His last fight was against a guy at a higher weight class. Leading up to it, all the press/fandom agreed that if Bonnar got Silva up against the fence, Silva would be in trouble. So he comes out and pretty much stands against the fence taunting the guy to prove it. At one point his corner was yelling, get out get out!, and while clenched with the guy, he gives his coaches this classic “cool down, I got this” gesture. Then proceeds to rock Bonnar’s world at will.

There are many highlight reels of him on Youtube. He moves like nobody else. Rogan calls it “Matrix-mode” and it is barely exaggeration. Just so far above his competition that it doesn’t seem natural.

George Patton and Bernard Montgomery both had pretty good egos.

Mozart doesn’t seem to have been plagued with self-doubt, by all accounts. I like the story of a music student approaching him for guidance on how to write a symphony. “You’re far too young,” said Mozart, “you should write some ballads first”. “But,” said the student, “you were only 6 when you wrote your first symphony!”. “Well, yes,” admitted Mozart, “but I didn’t need to ask how”.

“Acting is the most minor of gifts. After all, Shirley Temple could do it when she was four.”-Katherine Hepburn

Fun story.

A guy like Wayne Gretzky played with much older kids when he was young, outclassing them. I’m sure he realized from that time on that he had a unique talent.
Once he signed with the Oilers and they built their entire team around him, I’m sure he figured he was special. And well…if you’re good enough to score about 1000 more points total than the 2nd best on the scoring list? Yeah, then you know you’re the best ever.

Umm, what?