Published Nov 28, 2017Earlier this year, Daniel Day-Lewis shocked the film world when he announced plans to retire following his appearance in Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread. Now, the actor has opened up about that decision.
"Before making the film, I didn't know I was going to stop acting," he told W Magazine. "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."
When pressed for details as to why he decided to quit his profession, Day-Lewis wasn't entirely clear. He did reiterate, however, that he refuses to watch Phantom Thread.
"I haven't figured it out," he said of his reason for retirement. "But it's 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."
Further, Day-Lewis said he had felt compelled to quit acting in the past but was eventually drawn back into the profession. This time, he wanted to make sure that the decision stuck.
"I knew it was uncharacteristic to put out a statement," he said. "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 will arrive on Christmas Day. Watch the film's trailer below.