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Day-Lewis now being ‘distracted by life’

Oscar-winning actor taking on fewer movie roles
/ Source: The Associated Press

Daniel Day-Lewis says he’s become increasingly cautious about taking on new movies as he allows himself to be “distracted by life.”

The actor was at the Berlin International Film Festival Tuesday to present “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” directed by his wife, Rebecca Miller. Day-Lewis’ lead role is his first movie appearance since “Gangs of New York” three years ago.

“It’s not that my love for the work is diminished in any way,” said Day-Lewis, 47.

“I probably approach it with greater caution than I used to, and the test is a more severe one,” he told reporters. “I always had a feeling that it was a job that you had to feel compelled to do.”

“I’m distracted by life for periods of time,” the actor said.

In “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” Day-Lewis plays Jack Slavin — the last hippie living in a commune off the East Coast of the United States in the mid-1980s. Suffering from a degenerative illness, Jack struggles to cope with his only companion, 16-year-old daughter Rose (Camilla Belle).

Day-Lewis said Miller first sent him the story nine years ago, before the couple met.

The film “required something of me that I didn’t feel able to give at that time,” he said. Having children “probably helped me a lot” to play the part, he added. (Day-Lewis has three sons; two with Miller.)

The husband-and-wife team said their closeness helped in making the movie.

“You understand each other very quickly without a lot of words,” said Miller, the daughter of the late playwright Arthur Miller. The film is showing outside the main competition at the Berlin festival, which ends Sunday.