In shocking news, three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis has announced that he is retiring from acting, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread will be his last film.
Variety broke the news and obtained a statement from Day-Lewis’ publicist, Leslee Dart.
“[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.”
The British actor is known for his grueling commitment to his roles, and I’m sure each performance takes a lot out of him. Yet Day-Lewis is only 60 years old and appears to be in good health, so this is certainly a head-scratcher. Perhaps he’s sick of showbiz and just wants to spend more time with his family, which includes three children and his wife, writer-director Rebecca Miller.
Day-Lewis is the only actor to have won three Best Actor Oscars, taking home the little gold statue for My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and Lincoln. He was also nominated for In the Name of the Father and Gangs of New York.
Day-Lewis is expected to be back in the awards race this fall with Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, which is set in the fashion world of 1950s London. He plays a dressmaker who’s commissioned to design frocks for members of high society and the royal family. The movie opens on Christmas Day, and Day-Lewis is expected to promote the film and make appearances on the awards circuit should his performance gain traction with critics and voters.
Day-Lewis has been acting since the age of 14, though he hasn’t appeared onscreen since Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in 2012. The notoriously selective actor took a break from acting once before to live a quiet life as a cobbler in the mid-’90s, but he was coaxed out of quasi-retirement by Martin Scorsese, who convinced him to play Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York.
As much as we here at the Tracking Board hope this is a Steven Soderbergh-type of retirement, something tells me we may never hear from Day-Lewis again. He seems like the kind of man who makes a decision and sticks to it. So be grateful for all the wonderful performances he gave us over the years. He’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and fortunately, it was our lifetime.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief