Will Daniel Day-Lewis Actually Retire From Acting? Here's What PT Anderson Thinks

Daniel Day Lewis Phantom Thread

Daniel Day-Lewis is unquestionably one of the greatest actors the world has ever seen, and it's through that lens that we see writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson as a lucky guy. After all, the filmmaker has not only had the chance to work with the performer twice, but the second time, the newly released Phantom Thread, is said to be Day-Lewis' final film. After this, the big question is whether or not the actor will actually retire - and while it turns out that Anderson believes the answer is yes for now, he also thinks circumstances could certainly change in the future. He recently said,

I do believe him. I believe him right now. Maybe it's something that's worth re-evaluating in a few years. Wouldn't it be like hilarious if somebody just offered him a great script tomorrow and he was like, 'This is too good, I can't pass it up. I'm just gonna do one more, and then I'm out.'

Paul Thomas Anderson has been on the press tour recently promoting his eighth film, and it was while sitting down with Yahoo! that he was asked about Daniel Day-Lewis' retirement. Having just worked with the actor, it sounds like Anderson believes that he is indeed ready to take a break from the profession - but also recognizes that it probably won't be a permanent thing. While he may try his hardest not to work and perform anymore, Day-Lewis could be handed a script in the coming days, weeks, months or years that he absolutely can't resist, and his two-time collaborator thinks that will be enough to draw him back into the industry.

We first learned about Daniel Day-Lewis' pending retirement this past summer, and while he will be dearly missed, it's also understandable why he is stepping away. The guy has never been what you would call prolific, having made only 21 movies in 46 years, but there are few in the world who put themselves into their work as much as he does. He is a remarkable, transformative performer, and his intense dedication has resulted in him winning a stunning three Academy Awards (My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, Lincoln). It can't be easy putting yourself into your work on that level, which explains why he's walking away at the age of 60.

For reasons that Paul Thomas Anderson is quick to note, however, retirements don't always stick in Hollywood. A performer or a filmmaker may say that they're done, but all it really ever takes is one great idea to bring them back into the magical world. We can assume that this will probably be true for Daniel Day-Lewis, but the big question is what project it will be that makes him change his mind. Obviously right now we don't have a clue, but that's a question to which we're excited to learn the answer - regardless of how long it takes.

Phantom Thread is out now in limited release.

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Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.