Having been kept tightly under wraps during production, last week brought us our first real details on Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis’ latest (and final) collaboration Phantom Thread with the release of a poster, trailer and synopsis. Now, speaking to EW, Anderson has revealed that the film – set in the world of 1950s London fashion – is his attempt at emulating Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca.
“It’s not your standard love story,” states Anderson. “It’s more peculiar for sure. A lot of directors have tried and failed to make Rebecca. I’m probably next in line, but it’s a different story. I’m a large aficionado of those large Gothic romance movies as the old masters might do them. What I like about those kinds of love stories is that they’re very suspenseful. A good dollop of suspense with a love story is a nice combination.”
Anderson also discussed how his reunion with his There Will Be Blood star Daniel Day-Lewis came about, for what is said to be the three-time Oscar-winner’s final acting role.
“It came about at my suggestion because I thought we did it well together, and we loved what we did before. I suppose there’s always the risk of trying to do it again, but it seemed crazy not to take the opportunity. I was actively pursuing that, saying, ‘We have to do this. We have to get back together and make a film.’ I couldn’t quite tell you which came first. If you’re hoping for something, you can start to will it into existence. He was receptive to it, so that was a good start. Then the process of writing it was really the two of us together, quite honestly. I’d give him things as I was writing.
“Rather than go away and write a script and try to impress him, I was collaborating with him each step of the way as I was going, which was very helpful in terms of forming the story and the character. But also, it was incredibly practical for time [purposes] because it gave him time to prepare whatever he was going to have to learn how to do to play a dressmaker. It would not have been practical to write a script alone in my room and then hand it to him and say, ‘Oh, now we have to get started.’ That seems crazy.’”
Set in the glamour of 1950s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running.
Phantom Thread is set for release on December 25th in the States, and on February 2nd in the UK.