Why ‘Phantom Thread’ Made Daniel Day-Lewis Quit Acting

<p id=”par-1_64″>Plenty of <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/actors/”>acting</a> stars have taken a break from the spotlight. They may cite <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-heartbreaking-reason-why-rick-moranis-left-hollywood-and-why-hes-back.html/”>family reasons</a>, their own mental health, or a desire to enjoy some time off. For some, however, the reason is more acute. That was the case for Daniel Day-Lewis, <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/daniel-day-lewis-method-acting-caused-huge-freak-outs-behind-scenes-my-left-foot.html/”>a method actor</a> who found the work on <em>Phantom Thread</em> to be overwhelming enough to walk away from the entire acting industry. </p>

<h2 id=”h-daniel-day-lewis-is-a-celebrated-actor”>Daniel Day-Lewis is a celebrated actor </h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-large” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” width=”1200″ height=”797″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=1024&h=680&strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”daniel day-lewis film” class=”wp-image-3446878″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=150&h=100 150w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=640&h=425 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=768&h=510 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=1024&h=680 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=527&h=350 527w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=254&h=169 254w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=200&h=133 200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=763&h=507 763w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/daniel-day-lewis-film.jpg?w=90&h=60 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Actor Daniel Day-Lewis arrives at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. | Jason Merritt/Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-2_52″>Day-Lewis has a long filmography stretching back to the early 1980s. Coming from a family with important ties to the British film and arts industry, Day-Lewis spent time on stage with the Bristol Old Vic and Royal Shakespeare Companies before making his film debut as an adult in 1982’s <em>Gandhi</em>, according to <a href=”https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000358/bio/?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>IMDb</a>. </p>

<p id=”par-3_34″>Quickly, Day-Lewis earned a reputation as a stunning actor with a wide range. His work drew attention at the very top of the industry, earning him dozens of award nominations and three Oscar wins.</p>

<p id=”par-4_82″>His earliest win was for Best Actor in 1990 for <em>My Left Foot</em>, a film in which Day-Lewis portrays an artist with cerebral palsy who creates work using his only working limb. He won the Best Actor award again in 2008 for <em>There Will Be Blood</em>, a dark exploration of greed and the rise of American industry set in the early 20th century. His most recent win was in 2013 for <em>Lincoln, </em>a <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/daniel-day-lewis-worried-wasnt-right-bring-abraham-lincoln-life-lincoln.html/”>biopic about the famed president</a> in which Day-Lewis played Lincoln himself. </p>

<p id=”par-5_20″>Interestingly, he also received a nomination for Best Actor in <em>Phantom Thread</em>, the work that drove him away from his profession. </p>

<h2 id=”h-phantom-thread-was-celebrated-by-critics”>‘Phantom Thread’ was celebrated by critics</h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio” id=”emb-2″><div class=”wp-block-embed__wrapper”>
<iframe loading=”lazy” title=”PHANTOM THREAD – Official Trailer [HD] – In Select Theaters Christmas” width=”925″ height=”520″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/xNsiQMeSvMk?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” allowfullscreen></iframe>

<p id=”par-6_57″>In 2017, Day-Lewis once again took on a leading role, this time in <em>Phantom Thread</em>, a dramatic romance. He plays Reynolds Woodcock, a 1950s London dressmaker who has a reputation as a playboy and ready access to a slew of beautiful women. When he falls for Alma, however, the threads of his carefully managed life begin to unravel. </p>

<p id=”par-7_34″>The film has an impressive 91% rating on <a href=”https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/phantom_thread” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Rotten Tomatoes</a> and earned praise for its emotional range and artistry. Day-Lewis, in particular, earned accolades for his dedicated performance and deep dive into his character. </p>

<p id=”par-8_70″>Unfortunately, that deep dive seems to have taken a lot out of the actor. As <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/21/vicky-krieps-daniel-day-lewis-interview-phantom-thread” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”><em>The Guardian</em></a> reports, Day-Lewis insisted his co-star and on-screen lover Vicky Krieps meet him in character. He sewed 100 buttonholes to get himself into the mindset of Woodcock. He also took sketches of a Balenciaga dress and meticulously taught himself how to make it. Ultimately, the dive into this man’s obsession with perfection cut deep. </p>

<p id=”par-9_85″>Speaking with <a href=”https://www.wmagazine.com/story/exclusive-daniel-day-lewis-giving-up-acting-phantom-thread” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”><em>W Magazine</em></a>, Day-Lewis explained that he didn’t know it would be the film to push him into retirement: “Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting. I do know that Paul 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.”</p>

<p id=”par-10_11″>Day-Lewis made it clear that he couldn’t watch the finished product. </p>

<h2 id=”h-has-daniel-day-lewis-really-retired”>Has Daniel Day-Lewis really retired? </h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio” id=”emb-3″><div class=”wp-block-embed__wrapper”>
<iframe loading=”lazy” title=”Paul Thomas Anderson on Working with Daniel Day Lewis” width=”925″ height=”520″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/W9Cu7Otn9Io?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” allowfullscreen></iframe>

<div class=”related-article related-article–simple”>
<span class=”related-article-flag”>Related</span>
<p class=”related-article__title”>
<a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/daniel-day-lewis-has-never-returned-theatre-after-hearing-his-dead-father-talking-to-him-on-stage.html/”>
Daniel Day-Lewis Has Never Returned to Theatre After Hearing His Dead Father Talking to Him on Stage </a>
<p id=”par-11_32″>This break is not the first time Day-Lewis had to walk away from acting following an intense role. In fact, it’s been common for him to take an extended break to reset. </p>

<p id=”par-12_54″>This time, however, seems different. Day-Lewis himself has struggled to articulate it: “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.”</p>

<p id=”par-13_14″>So far, his decision has stuck. Day-Lewis has not taken on another role since. </p>

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *