Oh, my aching heart!
One of the most charismatic, talented, inspiring actors of our time has announced that he will no longer be making movies or acting on stage.
This is not good news. Not for people who love great films that grab our hearts and make us think about them for weeks after we see them.
I first saw the supremely talented Daniel Day-Lewis when he starred in the film “My Left Foot.” At the time I was a speech pathologist working in a school for children with physical disabilities. Many of them had cerebral palsy. I knew the way those children moved, the facial expressions that were common to them because of their tense muscles. I knew how they sounded, the noises that they made as they struggled to speak.
So when I saw the movie, I was astounded. “Imagine!” I thought to myself. “These movie makers cast an actor with cerebral palsy as their lead!”
It was only months later that I learned the truth. Daniel Day-Lewis has no physical disability. He managed to portray his character, who had severe cerebral palsy, with a respect and accuracy that was shocking in its honesty.
My admiration for the actor was enormous.
Later, I saw him in “The Last of the Mohicans,” a role captivated me for its historical importance but also because the lead actor was so completely riveting. I have to be honest. I dreamed of long haired, mostly undressed Daniel Day-Lewis for weeks.
Then I saw him “Lincoln.” I think of that movie every day when I watch the news. I truly do.
Now I find myself sad and shaken to hear that the actor, the only male actor to have won three Academy Awards, has announced his retirement.
His spokesman said that the actor is grateful to his supporters, but will no longer be appearing on screen. He told Variety:
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.”
What a huge loss for all of us! What a loss to the craft of acting. I only hope that Mr. Day-Lewis is healthy, and that this decision is part of a long and happy life.
But, jeez. We are really going to miss him.
I may spend my weekend binge watching everything this man has ever done. If you need me, I’ll be under the covers with a box of tissues and a bowl of popcorn.