Imagining Daniel Day-Lewis In A Life Without Acting Daniel Day-Lewis says he is no longer going to act. Weekend Edition guest host Melissa Block remembers an interview she had with him that might shed some light on what he'll do next.
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Imagining Daniel Day-Lewis In A Life Without Acting

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Imagining Daniel Day-Lewis In A Life Without Acting

Imagining Daniel Day-Lewis In A Life Without Acting

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

He brooded as Lincoln, seduced in "The Unbearable Lightness Of Being" and murdered in "There Will Be Blood." This week, Daniel Day-Lewis, three-time Oscar winner and incomparable film chameleon, announced he's retiring from acting at age 60. A statement released by his spokeswoman gave no explanation, saying this is a private decision, and Day-Lewis will have no further comment.

The actor has often taken lengthy sabbaticals between films. But this time, it's apparently permanent. So what will he be doing? Well, we know that Day-Lewis has a number of deep passions outside acting - woodworking, for one. He even applied for an apprenticeship with a cabinet maker before drama drew him in. More recently, he apprenticed with a master cobbler in Florence.

When I interviewed Daniel Day-Lewis in 2012, I asked him about these pursuits. He demurred. As a private person, he said he didn't like to cast attention on his life off the screen. But, eventually...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: You know, I'm handy. I - you give me a toolbelt. I know what do with it (laughter).

BLOCK: He opened up about woodworking just a little bit.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DAY-LEWIS: And it was something I felt immediately drawn towards. And I discovered that my hands were good - that I could make things. And I've always loved to do that. And I (laughter) just remember that my middle son, who's 14, overheard on the radio somebody saying, yeah. I think he makes chairs in his spare time, which he thought was one of the funniest things he'd ever heard. And he now - he imagined me setting up a shop somewhere with Dan's Chairs as the (laughter)...

BLOCK: Hanging outside?

DAY-LEWIS: ...As the shingle outside. Dan's Chairs. It was also that same boy, Ronan, who said when somebody asked him what I did - he said, I think he's in construction.

BLOCK: (Laughter).

DAY-LEWIS: And what I loved is that he said, I think because (laughter)...

BLOCK: He just wasn't quite sure.

DAY-LEWIS: It's perfect that kids just never quite know what (laughter) the hell their parents get up to.

BLOCK: But about shoemaking, Day-Lewis was mum. I even played my I'm the daughter of a sandal maker card. No dice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DAY-LEWIS: I'll tell you what. If we meet one of these days, then we can talk (laughter).

BLOCK: I look forward to that conversation.

DAY-LEWIS: I'd happily talk about it to you in private.

BLOCK: Now I'm picturing Daniel Day-Lewis in retirement on his farm in Ireland, cobbling away. Or maybe he'll finally get to hang that shingle, Dan's Chairs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SONG FOR A CARPENTER")

DAN FOGELBERG: (Singing) Oh, he makes his life as a carpenter. He works his hands in wood.

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