At least that’s what we’re telling ourselves.
Daniel Day-Lewis is sitting on a beach somewhere — drinking your milkshake. Per a statement released by his spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, the three-time Oscar winner is retiring from acting. “Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor,” it reads. “He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years.” Day-Lewis, who has demonstrated a career-long aversion to publicity, will not comment on his retirement further.
Based on this statement, one could speculate that Day-Lewis may still work in the entertainment industry in some capacity. We would love to see a title card reading “A Film by Daniel Day-Lewis” in the future. However, if his stint working as a cobbler in Italy between 1997 and 2002 teaches us anything, it is that we should expect to be surprised by this enigmatic artist’s next move.
While Day-Lewis himself will not speak to the press, we can expect his collaborators to comment on the actor’s impact on the film community. We are especially hopeful for his most frequent collaborator, Jim Sheridan, to make a statement. The two worked together on three films: My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, and The Boxer.
Day-Lewis’s final film will be released this Christmas. The Paul Thomas Anderson-helmed Phantom Thread hits theaters a decade after the actor and the director’s first collaboration, There Will be Blood. The 2007 film earned Day-Lewis his second of three Academy Awards in the category of Best Actor.
The film world will speculate ad nauseam as to the reason for the 60-year-old’s withdrawal from acting. However, a statement given to The Observer in 2008 may partially illuminate the reason. “My life as it is away from the movie set is a life where I follow my curiosity just as avidly as when I’m working,” Day-Lewis said. One could make an educated guess that his curiosity contributed to his decision to retire. He has found a new interest in which he will invest completely.
Day-Lewis will be greatly missed. His name has become synonymous with commitment and preparation. The extent to which he would prepare for a role is unrivaled. He learned how to speak Czech to play Tomas in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. He slept in a jail cell and ate prison food during the filming of In the Name of the Father. Fingers crossed this announcement is only preparation for his next role, in which he will play a retired actor who left the limelight at the top of his game.