Popular for his exceptional talent in method acting, multiple award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis shocked the world with the news of his retirement few years ago. Daniel whose skillfulness and versatility is next to none in his generation, became the first actor to ever win three Best Actor Academy Awards. Lewis grabbed his first Oscar for Best Actor in 1990 for his role as Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989). He later earned his second Best Actor Oscar for his role as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007). In 2013, his title role on Lincoln (2012) brought him the third. Lewis played his other award-grossing roles in My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), A Room with a View (1985), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Age of Innocence (1993), In the Name of the Father (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and Nine (2009).
Before bidding acting farewell, Daniel Day-Lewis made his epilogue screen appearance as Reynolds Woodcock in Phantom Thread (2017). Famous for taking extreme and exhaustive steps (including learning a new language and living separately from his wife) to see to the perfect portrayal of his characters, Daniel had to acquire dressmaking skills to play the lead in the 1950s London fashion film. Although many have described the movie as tiring and emotionally draining, they do not think it enough to make an over three-decade thespian and three-time Oscar winner throw in the towel.
While fans are still lamenting about Day-Lewis’ departure from the filming industry, they are still not clear on the actual reason that inspired his least-expected decision. Younger than many legendary actors such as Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, and Tom Hanks, many cannot just figure out why the retirement. Moreover, the fact that actors scarcely retire explicitly the way Lewis did, further puts question marks to his action.
What Happened to Daniel Day-Lewis and the Reason He Retired
Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement from acting on June 20, 2017, through his spokesperson, describing it as a private decision. At the time, Day-Lewis did not specify the reason behind his decision. However, in a later interview with W magazine, the former actor opened up. He revealed that despite speaking about quitting acting on several occasions, Phantom Thread became the force that eventually drove his words into action.
Surprisingly, Daniel said he never knew he will quit acting prior to the Thomas Anderson high-end couture drama. He explained that the film suddenly stole his usual laughter with Anderson away and instead, overwhelmed them with a high sense of sadness that is hard to live with. Day-Lewis’ Phantom Thread abhorrence is as serious as not wanting to see the film. He said his not wanting to view the movie is in connection with his decision to quit acting.
Meanwhile, the reason behind Daniel’s decision remains vague and shrouded in mystery. Still speaking with W, Lewis claimed he has not yet figured out exactly why he decided to quit acting. He also said he does not know particularly why Phantom Thread‘s story brought him such lasting sadness that ignited a compulsive impulse to stop working as an actor.
Is Daniel Day-Lewis Joining the Fashion Industry?
One more statement from Lewis during the interview – “the fashion world got its hooks into me”, suggested that Phantom Thread got him glued to the fashion industry. Is he then quitting acting for fashion designing? Lewis brushed off this question with a mischievous “Who Knows?”; adding that he is yet to decide which path to take while indicating he that he won’t be staying idle. His hint at not being afraid of “the stony silence” also suggests he may want to entirely leave showbiz. This doesn’t sound strange anyway, as Lewis has always loved a low profile life as against lots of attention.
Day-Lewis as well indicated that he would never want to go back to filming. This he said, was the only reason why he released an official statement on his retirement. He did it to ward off any possible lure-back into the industry. Moreover, Lewis admitted to being sad and equally unsure of his decision. He, however, maintained that he is bent on trying out a brand new life and exploring the world differently; outside the eyes of an actor.
Daniel Day-Lewis Post-Retirement – What has He been up to after Quitting Acting?
Born on April 29, 1957, Daniel Day-Lewis was 60 at the time he retired from acting. Although he remained in high demand all through his acting career, Day-Lewis was never a non-stop actor. He was more of an on-and-off artist. This is because of his highly selective nature for which he featured in just 21 movies in his 37-year career!
Owing to this professional style, Lewis usually had side ventures that kept him busy during his acting-free periods. Fields that interest him include painting, furniture-making, and scriptwriting. Daniel also worked as a cobbler during his five-year hiatus between The Boxer (1997) and Gangs of New York (1989). Meanwhile, no one knows yet, what the reclusive, reluctant and strange Lewis will be settling on outside acting.
Some are, however, speculating a return to film. Citing his Martin Scorsese-inspired return in Gangs of New York, Director James Ivory recently indicated his desire to once again bring Lewis back to the screens with a “sharp detective” role in his adaptation of Peter Cameron’s novel, Coral Glynn.