Daniel Day-Lewis has finally opened up about his decision to quit acting.
The revered actor first made the announcement that he was leaving show business back in June but is now elaborating about his reasoning behind his exit. In a recent interview with W Magazine, the three-time Oscar winner explained how the experience of shooting Phantom Thread, with director Paul Thomas Anderson, contributed to his ultimate decision.
“Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting,” Day-Lewis confessed. “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.”
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Day-Lewis is the only actor to win three Oscars in the lead actor category, first taking home the award in 1989 for playing an artist with cerebral palsy in My Left Foot, again in 2007 for his show stopping performance as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood and, most recently, for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in 2012’s Lincoln.
“I knew it was uncharacteristic to put out a statement. But I did want to draw a line,” Day-Lewis said about his decision to announce his exit. “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 my, and that became a compulsion. It was something I had to do.”
The actor admitted that he isn’t sure what he’s going to do now that his acting career has ended but promised not “to stay idle.”
Day-Lewis’ final film, Phantom Thread, hit theaters this Christmas.