‘Tis a sad day for film fans. Daniel Day-Lewis has announced his retirement from acting. The three-time Academy Award-winning star of modern classics like There Will Be Blood, Lincoln, and Gangs of New York will bow out of filmmaking after the release of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread, which arrives in theaters December 25.
Here’s the official statement from Leslee Dart, a spokeswoman for the actor (via Variety):
“Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject. ”
For his final film, Day-Lewis reteamed with his There Will Be Blood helmer in the role of a high-society fashion designer in 1950s London. Per Dart, he is expected to participate in the press tour for the film so we might get a bit more information on his decision in the coming months despite the statement. Or we might not. After all, the actor famously withdrew from acting once before until Martin Scorcese drew him away from his quiet life as a cobbler to return to film.
Since his return to the industry, Day-Lewis has been extremely selective with his roles. Indeed, Phantom Thread will be his first film in five years since he teamed with Steven Spielberg for his transformative work in Lincoln. As a film performer, Day-Lewis was most active during the 80s and 90s with popular turns in The Last of the Mohicans and The Crucible, and he earned his first Oscar for his staggering and wildly demanding performance as Christy Brown in My Left Foot. He was nominated again for In the Name of the Father in 1994 and Gangs of New York in 2003, and won twice more for There Will Be Blood in 2008 and Lincoln in 2013. He is the only actor who holds three Best Actor prizes.
But I’m pretty sure y’all don’t need me to read his resume to know that anytime he takes a break from film, it’s a loss for film fans. Quite simply, he’s one of the best actors of all time if not the best, and one of the rare artisans that elevate the medium. I believe in Hollywood retirement about as much as I believe in horror movies titled ‘The Final Chapter’, but regardless of if this is goodbye for good, it certainly looks like it will be a long time before we another Day-Lewis performance in the can, if ever. My thoughts are with you all during this time of grieving, but most importantly, hopefully all is well with Day-Lewis and his family.