(Peter Bradshaw’s article appeared in the Guardian, 6/21; via Pam Green.)
So Daniel Day-Lewis has joined Steven Soderbergh, Ken Loach and Jack Nicholson in the ranks of movie greats who have announced that most unthinkably non-showbusiness move: retirement. At the age of just 60, the legendary triple Oscar winner – recipient of more best actor Oscars than anyone in Academy Award history – says that his next film, Paul Thomas Anderson’s fashion drama Phantom Thread, will be his last. As with those other giants, we have to hope that Sir Daniel will soon feel the need to hand back the carriage clock, hang up the golf clubs and resume his vocation.
Of course, most actors do not have the option to retire. Other actors, such as Sean Connery and Gene Hackman, step back at the end of their careers without clearly announcing the fact. For a while, it was thought that Hugh Grant was semi-retired, but he continues to work – and get great notices. But most actors carry on into extreme old age, because they need the money or because this is what they love to do. They act because they must.