Hours after the announcement by Daniel Day-Lewis that he was quitting acting, Amy Poehler made an impassioned plea for him to reconsider on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Poehler told Meyers, her one-time “Saturday Night Live” castmate, that she understood that Day-Lewis has a good reason for quitting. “Obviously he’s not getting the parts he wants. He’s feeling nervous. We all go through it.”
Turning to the camera, Poehler spoke in seeming earnest, albeit with tongue firmly planted in cheek: “I love you, dude. Don’t quit. I know this business is hard, bro, but don’t quit. You got the stuff. You got it.” She continued making merry, suggesting that Day-Lewis, who was knighted in 2014, had tuned in. “Daniel, you’re watching in bed right now, you’re getting your salt on, probably eatin’ some chips. Don’t quit. We need you. Times are tough.”
Sir Daniel has said that the upcoming “Phantom Thread” will be his swan song. This period picture, in which he plays a fictionalized version of 1950s royal designer Hardy Amies, marks his second collaboration with writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson. Their first, “There Will Be Blood,” won Day-Lewis the second of his record three Best Actor Oscars in 2008.
Were he to prevail again for this Focus Features film, which is due out at Christmas, Day-Lewis would equal the benchmark set by Katharine Hepburn on the distaff side. While his decision to retire is, no doubt, genuine, an unexpected bonus could be that Oscar voters take this one last chance to honor him again.
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