Did Daniel Day Lewis’ Final Role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread Bring About His New Career?

Back in February, I discovered a photography site that had shots of Daniel Day Lewis and others filming — reportedly the actor’s last role before retiring — in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (unconfirmed title). As per usual, there was little information about the movie’s plot, but what we know is that the story is about the fashion industry, and set in 1950s London. Soon after, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood announced he’d be scoring the film.

Over the past months, a few more details have been uncovered; Lewis will star as Charles James, the possibly closeted (or at least, bisexual) fashion designer, born in Camberley, England (and kicked out of Harrow Boarding School for a “sexual escapade”). The real life, mostly self-taught designer lived in New York, London, Paris among others, and is credited for “transforming fashion design” through his unique and artistic creations. Phantom Thread also stars Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps, the latter of whom may be playing Nancy Lee Gregory, James’ decades-younger wife.

Now, take this next bit with a grain of salt; Page Six claims a source close to DDL says the actor’s been wanting to do one more great film before retiring, and that after having studied fashion so in depth, he’s thinking of completely changing careers:

[Daniel Day Lewis] did such intense research and learned so much about couture fashion for his final film playing ‘an uncompromising dressmaker commissioned by royalty and high society’ that he will stick with the profession off-screen and become a dressmaker.”

I know, I know — who listens to unnamed Page Six sources? At the same time, Lewis is so clearly (*cough*) cut from a different cloth than most in his profession, this kinda sorta makes sense to me. He’s always been a sharp dresser …

… a fastidious, eclectic method man; it sounds exactly right to me. So I, for one, hope this particular rumor turns out true.

And, Phantom Thread, which also stars Richard Graham, Camilla Rutherford, Pip Phillips, Jane Perry and Jason Redshaw,   sounds like the perfect Christmas day respite.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over ten years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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