Since earning his first Oscar for 1989’s stunning My Left Foot, Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of his generation, has appeared in just 10 films. He only picks projects that interest him, often those directed by Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence and Gangs of New York) and Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood and the upcoming Phantom Thread), but apparently he’s no longer interested. According to Variety, Day-Lewis is retiring from acting.
“Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor,” his spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, said in a statement. “He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.” DDL, as no one calls him (or else they’ll have to deal with a bowling pin to the head and/or butcher knife to the back, probably), is the only person to win three Best Actor Oscars: My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, and Lincoln (he was nominated two other times, but lost to Tom Hanks and Adrien Body, respectively). In 2012, Time named him the “greatest living actor.”
His final performance for now will be in Phantom Thread, Thomas-Anderson’s drama about London’s fashion world in the 1950s that comes out on December 25. I say “for now,” because Day-Lewis has effectively retired before. “In the late ’90’s and early aughts he appeared to give up acting for a while,” Variety writes, “reportedly working as a cobbler before Martin Scorsese convinced him to return to the screen for Gangs of New York.” Maybe in five years, someone like Kathryn Bigelow can get him to remake The Cobbler?