Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably the best actor in the world, and it’s not like his acting ability has declined in recent years. He remains incredibly selective, but it still came as a bit of a surprise when he announced earlier this year that he would be retiring from acting and Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming Phantom Thread would be Day-Lewis’ final film.
Day-Lewis has now spoken a bit more on his decision to retire, telling W:
“Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting,” Day-Lewis said in the interview, referring to his forthcoming drama, Phantom Thread. “I do know that Paul [Thomas Anderson] and I laughed a lot before we made the movie. And then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise: We didn’t realize what we had given birth to. It was hard to live with. And still is.”
He adds that he has no plans to see Phantom Thread, and that his decision to avoid the film is linked to his decision to quit acting:
“I haven’t figured it out,” he said of why he decided to retire. “But it’s settled on me, and it’s just there. Not wanting to see the film is connected to the decision I’ve made to stop working as an actor. But it’s not why the sadness came to stay. That happened during the telling of the story, and I don’t really know why.”
The actor also explained why he made an announcement regarding his retirement as opposed to other actors, such as Gene Hackman, who have quietly decided to stop working:
“I knew it was uncharacteristic to put out a statement,” Day-Lewis said. “But I did want to draw a line. I didn’t want to get sucked back into another project. All my life, I’ve mouthed off about how I should stop acting, and I don’t know why it was different this time, but the impulse to quit took root in me, and that became a compulsion. It was something I had to do.”
We wish Day-Lewis all the best in his future endeavors, and we can’t wait to see him in Phantom Thread, which opens December 25th.