Movies | November 4, 2017 9:00 am

Daniel Day-Lewis’s Final Role, ‘Phantom Thread,’ Is Ready for Its Close-up

Director Paul W. Anderson tells EW about re-teaming with his star for period drama.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson and cast members Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano attend the premiere of "There will be blood" in Paris. (Photo by Eddy LEMAISTRE/Corbis via Getty Images)
Director Paul Thomas Anderson and cast members Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano attend the premiere of "There will be blood" in Paris. (Photo by Eddy LEMAISTRE/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

Acclaimed actor Daniel Day-Lewis is exiting stage left from the film business — but not before one final performance for one of his favorite directors.

Phantom Thread, his second collaboration with filmmaker Paul W. Anderson, though, will have a tough act to follow.

After all, the last time the pair worked together, Day-Lewis won his second Oscar on a movie that the New York Times proclaimed the best film of the century to date.

“I suppose there’s always the risk of trying to do it again,” Anderson told Entertainment Weekly in the magazine’s Holiday Movie Preview issue about the prospect of following up on There Will Be Blood. “But it seemed crazy not to take the opportunity.”

To lure his star on There Will Be Blood into another collaboration, he included Day-Lewis in the writing process. “I’d give him things as I was writing,” Anderson explained. “Rather than go away and write a script and try to impress him, I was collaborating with him each step of the way as I was going, which was very helpful in terms of forming the story and the character.”

Set in 1950’s London, Phantom Thread tells the saga of a dressmaker who falls in love with his muse. The film co-stars Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps.

“I think he’s been saying that he’s wanted to do it for a long time. I do remember him telling me that he really thought about retiring after I think it was The Boxer,”  Anderson told EW. “Hopefully, it’s something that he’ll reconsider. In the meantime, he’s left it all out on the field, I like to think.”