He is arguably one of the world’s best actors and one of my favorites. He is also one of the most acclaimed in film history, having earned three Academy Awards (Oscars) for his performances in My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and Lincoln. He is the only male actor in history to have three wins in the lead actor category, and one of only three male actors to win three Oscars. He also announced his retirement from acting – at 61 and in full glory. He’s a cool one. Ladies and gentlemen, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis.

From an amazing story by Lynn Hirschberg in W Magazine, we find out that ‘As a teenager in London, Day-Lewis studied woodworking, and aspired to become a craftsman rather than a furniture designer.’ and that ‘At 19, before he was accepted to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, he was torn between a life as an actor and one as a cabinetmaker, and he has never given up his obsession with the process of honing a skill.’

Day-Lewis: “When I was younger, I made some decisions that I shouldn’t have. And, in hindsight, I’ve almost always been wrong when I haven’t listened to myself.”

Daniel Day-Lewis W Magazine // Daily inspiration by Silviu Tolu

Apparently, ‘He was attracted to the role of Christy Brown, the Irish painter and writer afflicted with cerebral palsy at the center of My Left Foot, immediately after reading the opening scene of the script: Christy uses his left foot to put a record on a turntable; there’s a skip and the foot picks the needle up and then places it gently back down again. Day-Lewis was convinced that it couldn’t be done. After weeks of practice—and months spent with cerebral palsy patients—Day-Lewis mastered the scene on the first take.’

“You can never fully put your finger on the reason why you’re suddenly, inexplicably compelled to explore one life as opposed to another.”

Daniel Day-Lewis in 'There will be blood' / Icons by Silviu Tolu

For as long as I can remember, the thing that gave me a sense of wonderment and renewal… has always been the work of other actors.

The one thing that I appear to have been given, bearing in mind that I am capable of being very, very scatty and extremely lazy, is the ability to concentrate on something I choose to give my time to.

Daniel Day-Lewis / Stills from movies / Icons by Silviu Tolu
Gangs of New York | There Will Be Blood | Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis / Icons on silviutolu.com

It’s hard and somehow sad to imagine that this giant, a master of his craft, will stop producing the quality work that we’ve enjoyed for so long. But I do have a sense of what he’s feeling. And maybe we’ll see him do other great stuff.

Going back to the great interview he gave for W Magazine: ‘Although there have been rumors that Day-Lewis is going to become a fashion designer, he laughed when I suggested that career. “Who knows?” he said mischievously. “I won’t know which way to go for a while. But I’m not going to stay idle. I don’t fear the stony silence.” He has always had a variety of passions: He once wrote a comedy script with Rebecca; he paints well; he makes furniture; and he is a fan of MotoGP, the competitive motorcycle tournament. But he also has a deep love of film, and it is hard to imagine that he will not continue to contribute to movies in some way.’

Everybody has to know for themselves what they’re capable of.

Daniel Day-Lewis // Icons by Silviu Tolu

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