It is with a heavy heart that Hollywood must bid farewell to one of its most revered and talented actors. Daniel Day-Lewis, who made his screen debut at the age of 14 in 1971’s Sunday, Bloody Sunday, is the only actor to win three best actor Oscars.
Some of the finest examples of his talent include his performances as the president in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a greedy oil man in There Will Be Blood, and a powerful gang leader in Gangs of New York.
Day-Lewis is esteemed for his method acting, and for going to extreme lengths to accurately portray his characters, frequently remaining in character off-screen. When playing a man with cerebral palsy in the 1989 film, My Left Foot, the actor refused to leave his wheelchair until filming was complete, and in the 1996 film, The Crucible, he etched actual tattoos onto his skin.
Similarly known for his privacy, the 60-year-old actor has not provided a reason for his decision to retire. Day-Lewis’ spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, however, released the following statement:
“Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. 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.”
Despite being in high demand as an actor, Day-Lewis is notoriously selective, and has been known to wait years between projects. In the late 1990s he appeared to have given up acting and was reportedly working as a cobbler. Thankfully for us, Martin Scorsese convinced him to return to the screen for the epic period drama, Gangs of New York.
Our only consolation to Day-Lewis’ retirement comes in the form of his final film, scheduled to hit theatres in late December of this year. The film, titled Phantom Thread, reunites Day-Lewis with There Will Be Blood director, Paul Thomas Anderson, and is set in the world of high fashion.
The London born actor lives the county town of Wicklow in Ireland with his wife, Rebecca Miller, and their two sons, Ronan Cal and Cashel Blake.
It is an onerous task to accurately describe such a talent, however, of Day-Lewis’ role as Abraham Lincoln, film critic A.O. Scott manages to come close:
“The most famous and challenging beard of them all sits on the chin of Daniel Day-Lewis, who eases into a role of epic difficulty as if it were a coat he had been wearing for years”.