Daniel Day-Lewis opens up about quitting acting because of ‘great sadness’

It's the first time the actor has spoken out about it since he announced his retirement in June.

Daniel played Christy Brown in My Left Foot Pic: VIP Ireland
Daniel played Christy Brown in My Left Foot Pic: VIP Ireland

Daniel Day-Lewis has opened up about his decision to quit acting for good.

The actor revealed that he didn’t plan on quitting acting but felt unhappy when filming his final project.

The British-Irish star was working on Phantom Thread, which was written by Paul Thomas Anderson when he realised he was finished with the acting world.

“Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting,” he told W Magazine.

He added that he felt down when working on the period drama.

“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 realise what we had given birth to. It was hard to live with. And still is.”

He added: “What has taken over in the past is an illusion of inevitability. But it’s settled on me, and it’s just there. Not wanting to see the film [Phantom Thread] 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.

“I dread to use the overused word ‘artist,’ but there’s something of the responsibility of the artist that hung over me.

“I need to believe in the value of what I’m doing. The work can seem vital. Irresistible, even. And if an audience believes it, that should be good enough for me. But, lately, it isn’t.”

The talented star added that he was reluctant to work on any more movies, which is why he released a statement.

Lincoln European Movie Premiere at The Savoy Cinema
Daniel with his co-stars at Lincoln European Movie Premiere at The Savoy Cinema


“I knew it was uncharacteristic to put out a statement, but I did want to draw a line. I didn’t want to get sucked back into another project,” he stated.

“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.”

Speaking of the ‘sadness’ he felt when making the movie, Day-Lewis admitted that he has still not recovered from it.

“Do I feel better? Not yet. I have great sadness. And that’s the right way to feel. How strange would it be if this was just a gleeful step into a brand-new life.

“I’ve been interested in acting since I was 12 years old, and back then, everything other than the theatre – that box of light – was cast in shadow.

“When I began, it was a question of salvation. Now, I want to explore the world in a different way.”

After he announced his retirement, reports suggested that he was looking into working as a dressmaker,

It is unsurprisingly inspired by the actor’s latest role in the Paul Thomas Anderson film, in which he plays a dressmaker in London commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family.

The New York Post reported in July that in typical Day Lewis style, he did such intense research and learned so much about couture fashion that he will stick with the profession off-screen and become a dressmaker.

It wouldn’t be the most surprising move, given that in the 90’s he did an apprenticeship with shoemaker Stefano Bemer in Florence, Italy.


Related Stories


Leave a Reply

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

google ads
VIP Live - The home of Irish celebrities