Man, how do I write this one up enough to fill the words on the page? Maybe I won’t. Maybe the words I do post will be enough. After all, he’s retiring, and that’s that. Nothing more to write. I could dig up his IMDb page and sound off on his every single film he’s ever made, but I still don’t know that much about the man or his illustrious career. And boy has he had a queer career, to say the least. after all, the man started as cobbler before he was found by Martin Scorsese, who persuaded him to play the vicious gang leader Bill “The Butcher” in Scorsese’s historical crime drama, Gangs of New York.
Day-Lewis started with 1982’s Ghandi, and though I’ve never see n it, it was a critically-acclaimed hit, as far as I recall. And then there was My Left Foot with James Sheridan, way back in 1989, the one film most people seem to recall Day-Lewis from, the one that seemed to really put his career into maximum overdrive, such as it was, given that he has often gone years without a single project.
I do recall him in Last of the Mohicans, where I recall thinking this tall fellow has quite the screen presence. I wondered what else he was in, but didn’t bother to look. His name really didn’t come to the fore until There Will Be Blood, which is a mesmerizing exposition of Daniel Day-Lewis’ skill on screen from the opening scene to the “I’m finished” before the credit roll.
And Lincoln, where he nailed the lead of Abraham Lincoln, not just in appearance but in gestures, tone of voice and all the variety of idiosyncrasies that constitute a person.
He does so little, but it’s oh so much, more than most actors these days who sell their bodies to be in films, or otherwise pawn their dignity to appear inside the silvered screen of a modern flick.
So it was very surprising to me that Day-Lewis’ publicist, Leslee Dart, issued a statement on behalf of the actor to Variety , confirming his retirement from acting:
“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.”
I wonder why. Sickness? But there’s no evidence he’s the least bit sick. In fact he has one more movie set to appear, entitled The Phantom Thread, which reads like a James Bond novel and not a drama surrounding the garment industry. If not ickness that many he just wants to move on. Maybe he’s bored. Maybe he’s getting old, as they say. Maybe he wants to spend time with his family.
Whatever may be the case, I salute him for his marvelous efforts over the years. for remaining true to his mastered craft, and for being, from all indications, a decent human being as well as an excellent actor.
Retire well, good sir. You’ve earned your rest.