After tonight’s Academy Awards, it may be awhile before we see the talents of Daniel Day-Lewis come to life again on the silver screen.
The 55-year-old actor, nominated for “Lincoln” in what could earn him a historic third Best Actor Oscar, has revealed that he will retire for five years to spend time with his family and enjoy life on his 50-acre farm in Co Wicklow, south of Dublin.
The London Sunday Times reports that Day-Lewis has told friends he’s interested in learning rural skills such as stonemasonry. Such pursuits match earlier passions – including a life-long love of woodworking and a stint in the late 90s apprenticing as a shoemaker in Italy.
“My life as it is away from movie set is a life where I follow my curiosity just as avidly as when I am working,” he told the UK Guardian in 2008. “It is with a very positive sense that I keep away from the work for a while. It has always seemed natural to me that that in turn should help me in the work that I do.”
And as for retreating to a rural lifestyle, far away from the glitz of tonight’s Oscars, Day-Lewis says that too is key to his success as an actor.
“In a rural parish,” he explains, “you become utterly unnoticeable. Or that’s the impression I have. I couldn’t work or get ready for a piece of work from a city base, from city life. I need deep, deep quiet and a landscape too that I can be absorbed into. So much of the work is in the process of aimless rumination in which things may or may not take seed.”
Some say Day-Lewis’ sabbaticals from acting and his personal interests are “eccentric,” but damn it all if they don’t sound smart. Time with family, a full life of passions outside acting, and the solitude to appreciate it all. That’s just good living. Good luck tonight, Daniel – but have fun these next five years. It’s worth waiting for your next amazing role.
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