According to what “sources” (so beware that this post belongs in the realm of hopefully-very-real-rumor) told the New York Post‘s Page Six, Daniel Day-Lewis’ plan to quit acting had actually been marinating for years. Apparently the actor was searching for the right project to go out with in style. And his next and seemingly final project will, in fact, be stylish: he’s starring as a haute couture dressmaker in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ’50s London-set upcoming movie…and after that, it seems, in life. (But presumably without the direction of Paul Thomas Anderson).
Daniel Day-Lewis notoriously commits himself to his roles to the extent that they can take years to craft, and the process usually involves some form of immersion in the characters’ lives/psyches. And though the film is set to open on December 25, Page Six’s source says Day-Lewis will be taking his character’s profession with him on the road ahead; it seems extensive research led him to take up dressmaking beyond the world of a stunningly-filmed game of pretend.
This could either sound like a.) fake news or b.) a marketing stunt for the upcoming film, but for the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis already did something similar long ago — going into soft-retirement in the 90s to become a shoemaker/woodworker. Following the release of The Boxer in 1997, Day-Lewis did a 10-month apprenticeship with the late Italian shoemaker Stefano Bemer. As Vanity Fair points out, the website for the Bemer brand itself makes mention of it:
What many do not know is what brought them together: perfectionism…DD Lewis and Stefano shared the same passion for their respective forms of art: one would not simply play a role, but rather “become” his character; the other would not just make shoes, but rather bring his ideas to life. If you have seen the former acting and the latter making shoes, you know what I am talking about.