Wednesday 19 June 2019

'Before making The Phantom Thread, I didn't know I was going to stop acting' - Daniel Day Lewis says new film made him 'sad'

Daniel Day-Lewis retires
Daniel Day-Lewis retires

Jill Serjeant

Director Paul Thomas Anderson calls his new movie Phantom Thread a romance, but its star Daniel Day-Lewis said filming it made him so sad he decided to quit acting.

Triple Oscar-winner Day-Lewis plays 1950s London fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, whose self-centred life is disrupted when his latest muse falls in love with him and matters take an unexpected and sinister twist.

Daniel Day Lewis in Phantom Thread
Daniel Day Lewis in Phantom Thread

The movie, which opens in the US on Christmas Day, took two years to research and write, in what Anderson says was a collaborative effort with Day-Lewis.

"It was always my intention to make a romantic film," the director said.

Daniel Day-Lewis in The Phantom Thread
Daniel Day-Lewis in The Phantom Thread

"The kind of things we talked about are the classic Gothic romances like Rebecca, Gaslight and Vertigo."

Day-Lewis, who is known for his meticulous preparation, threw himself into the project, studying for months with designers and making a couture dress himself.

"Everything in the House of Woodcock was so particular - what chair, what silverware, what teacup," added Anderson.

"You have to involve Daniel in every aspect of that. There isn't a piece of furniture or wall covering that hasn't been approved by him."

After filming was completed, Day-Lewis (60) shocked the movie world in June by announcing that he was retiring as an actor.

In an interview last month, the only man to have won three lead actor Oscars said the decision was directly related to shooting Phantom Thread.

"Before making the film, I didn't know I was going to stop acting," he said.

"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 sadness has stayed with him, he said.

"That happened during the telling of the story, and I don't really know why."


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