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Daniel Day-Lewis’ Surprise Retirement Digression Nearly Overshadows ‘Spielberg’ HBO Documentary

The acting legend gets the last word in the star-studded feature from Susan Lacy.

Daniel Day-Lewis in “Spielberg”


While putting together her forthcoming HBO documentary “Spielberg,” director-producer Susan Lacy was granted access to many acclaimed actors who have stepped in front of Steven Spielberg’s lens. Oscar winners Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sally Field, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Holly Hunter, and Sir Ben Kingsley all chimes in on working with prolific Spielberg, who closed out the ’60s by becoming the youngest-ever director to sign a long-term deal with a major studio, Universal Pictures.

Unexpectedly, after more than 140 Spielberg-centric minutes, Lacy gave the film’s final sound bite to reclusive Day-Lewis, who won his record-breaking third Best Actor statuette in 2013 for Spielberg-helmed “Lincoln.” But the actor, who has recently announced that he’ll conclude his acting career in December, offers a soundbite that carries entirely new connotations from when they were first recorded.

“Steven still has an enormous appetite for the work that he does,” Day-Lewis begins. “It’s quite a rare thing.”

Read More: Daniel Day-Lewis Announces He Is Retiring From Acting

Then, the 60-year-old English actor — who in June announced his retirement following his role in the anticipated, and untitled, P.T. Anderson-directed film — stifled laughter and turned introspective. “We all have, probably, a shelf life…we probably go past that shelf life, most of us, without even knowing it. But I think in [Spielberg’s] case, ’til the day he dies, he’ll be doing work that he feels absolutely viscerally compelled to do.”

The documentary technically ends on a black-and-white photo of Spielberg, but visions from Day-Lewis’s career will rush to many minds, along with questions about how long he’s been planning to bow out. For the time being, audiences will get their last chance to observe his talents when Anderson’s movie screens for critics in late November ahead of its December 25 release date.

“Spielberg” will world premiere at the New York Film Festival this week, then air Saturday at 8pm on HBO. Watch the trailer below.

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