Day-Lewis Explains His Acting Retirement

Daniel Day-Lewis surprised everyone not long ago when he announced that his role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming “Phantom Thread” would be his final film.

Though incredibly selective about his projects, Day-Lewis offered no hint prior to this about giving up the game, and he reveals to W Magazine that he had no plans to retire until they went into production on the film which he won’t watch:

“Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting. 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.

It [the retirement decision] has 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.”

This also marks a change from other great actors like Gene Hackman and Sean Connery who quietly decide to stop working. Day-Lewis explained why he made an announcement:

“I knew it was uncharacteristic to put out a statement. 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.”

“Phantom Thread” opens in cinemas on December 25th.