Daniel Day-Lewis surprised the film industry and his legions of fans with the announcement earlier this year that he was done with acting. The 60-year-old didn't explain why, and in an interview with W, he sheds little new light on the decision—because he says he doesn't quite understand it himself. "I haven't figured it out," he says. "But it's settled on me, and it's just there." Day-Lewis says he didn't know heading into the soon-to-be-released Phantom Thread, in which he portrays renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, that it would be his last acting performance. But after immersing himself in the role in typical Day-Lewis fashion—he even created a dress from scratch for his wife—Day-Lewis recalls that he and director Paul Thomas Anderson were "overwhelmed by a sense of sadness," much to their surprise.
In fact, Day-Lewis says he doesn't plan on seeing the movie, set for release on Christmas Day. "Not wanting to see the film is connected to the decision I've made to stop working as an actor," he says. "But it's not why the sadness came to stay. That happened during the telling of the story, and I don't really know why." So what next? Day-Lewis hasn't figured that part out yet, either. Meanwhile, he continues to recuperate from a recent motorcycle accident that seriously injured one of his arms, and he was pleased to learn that he'd be able to box again despite the injury. "Maybe if I hit the heavy bag, I'll find some answers," he says. Click to read the full, fascinating interview.