Why You Rarely Hear About Daniel Day-Lewis Nowadays

Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most prominent actors of his generation. The British actor is part of a select few who have received multiple Academy Awards, winning three times. According to IMDb, Day-Lewis has 147 awards and 95 nominations. He also received a knighthood in 2014 for his services to drama. During the ceremony, which was held at the Buckingham Palace, Day-Lewis said that he was "entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure," per The Independent.

The award-winning actor seems to focus on quality over quantity, as he has been credited in only 30 movies and TV shows (via IMDb). Yet every role he has chosen seems to be memorable, as fans can see in the films such as "My Left Foot," "Lincoln," and "Gangs of New York." "Phantom Thread," released in 2017, was the last time Day-Lewis appeared in a movie. Since then, the actor is living away from the spotlight.

Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement

In 2017, Daniel Day-Lewis released a note announcing his retirement, Variety reported. "Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor," it read. "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."

Later, the actor said that before filming "Phantom Thread," he didn't know he would retire. Day-Lewis noted that he had a great time when he started the movie, but he was soon overwhelmed with sadness. He also explained why he made his decision to officially stop acting during an interview with W Magazine "I didn't want to get sucked back into another project," he said. "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 me, and that became a compulsion. It was something I had to do."

It was not the first time he tried to retire

Daniel Day-Lewis is known for taking long breaks between films. In the 1990s, after filming "The Boxer," the actor moved to Italy, living a period he defines as semi-retirement. The actor decided to stay in Florence, where he became a shoemaker apprentice, according to BBC. The actor didn't admit he was retired, but he didn't seem to have plans to make a comeback.

However, Martin Scorsese contacted him with a tempting invitation for "Gangs of New York," and Day-Lewis ended up playing Bill the Butcher, a gang leader in Manhattan. Although he loved the project, the actor said that having a family changed his priorities, The Guardian reports. "So you start to have doubts," he said. "I suppose those come to everyone. Because you see them lurking in the shadows on the set. It's not an even keel. That causes you to question everything in your whole life. Because it's a life in miniature."

Daniel Day-Lewis is a method actor

While playing "Hamlet" at the National Theatre in 1989, Daniel Day-Lewis overwhelmed the public but said he would retire from theatre acting. The actor reportedly revealed that he saw his father's ghost, although he tried to deny it years later. "To some extent, I probably saw my father's ghost every night, because of course, if you're working in a play like Hamlet, you explore everything through your own experience," he said, per The Guardian.

It is easy to understand why Day-Lewis takes long breaks between films by looking at how he prepares for each character — the actor dives completely into method acting for his movies and plays. While filming "My Left Foot," Day-Lewis spent most of the days in a wheelchair, and his co-workers had to help him move on set. According to Esquire, he also spent eight weeks in a cerebral palsy clinic in Dublin and learned how to paint and write with his foot. Although some say he took things too far, his dedication to the craft is undeniable.

He also learned Czech for his role in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." Although the movie was in English, the book was originally published in Czech.

It seems that Daniel Day-Lewis has a recluse life

During one of his many career breaks in the 2000s, Daniel Day-Lewis didn't give interviews and lived a reclusive life. According to Daily Mail, the actor was living in a 50-acre estate in the mountains of County Wicklow, Ireland. He dedicated most of his time to woodwork, making shoes, and riding horses or biking in the hills for hours.

Day-Lewis, now 63 years old, seems to take his retirement as seriously as one of his characters. Since his retirement, there is no information about how he is living. It is unknown if he is living on his property in Ireland or somewhere else in the world, improving his shoe-making skills or a new hobby.

He is not the only high-profile actor who decided to have a recluse life. Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, and Greta Garbo are some actors who choose to live their lives away from the spotlight (via Star Insider).

The "Phantom Thread" director commented on the actor's retirement

Daniel Day-Lewis's retirement didn't take people by surprise, as the actor frequently took long breaks in his career and often considered quitting acting. Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed the actor in "Phantom Thread," said he had nothing to do with his decision, per Irish Times. "Oh God. It's not my fault. What do you think? Do you think it's my fault?" he asked.

However, even knowing it was Day-Lewis's decision to stop acting, the director looked back on the actor's career and predicted his next steps. "I've been doing all these retrospectives as the film is coming out. It's tiring, right? And he has been doing this for 40 years. So fair enough. And it'd be crazy to think that he won't do something else creatively." The director also said that they are good friends and keep in touch often. 

So far, there are no signs that Day-Lewis will make a comeback.