As the director of Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive and original filmmakers working today.
But even he needs a muse, and his just so happens to be a star in her own right, Maya Rudolph, who he has been with since 2001 and is the mother to his four children.
Anderson has now admitted that the former “Saturday Night Live” actress provided the moment of inspiration that provoked the director to start work on his latest film “Phantom Thread,” telling a Q&A in New York on Sunday night that the way Rudolph looked at him when he was sick in bed one night was all that he needed.
“I was very, very sick in bed one night. And my wife looked at me with a love and affection that I hadn’t seen in a long time. So I called Daniel the next day and said, ‘I think I have a good idea for a movie’.”
“And then we saw a picture of Cristobal Balenciaga, and then there were fashion books all over our house, and the next thing we knew we were writing and researching and talking and it just kept going and going and going until it seemed impossible to stop. And we didn’t want to stop. It seemed really, really good and exciting to attack.”
Daniel Day Lewis, who also participated in the Q&A, looked to downplay how he got involved in “Phantom Thread,” as he joked, “Paul just needed an old man, and I seemed to fit the bill. I wasn’t sick at the time but it made me sick over the course of time.”
“Phantom Thread” marks the second collaboration between Anderson and Day-Lewis after “There Will Be Blood,” which is not only widely regarded as one of the best films since the turn of the millennium, but also resulted in Day-Lewis winning his second of three Best Actor Academy Awards.
You’ll be able to see if “Phantom Thread” should result in his fourth Oscar when it is released on December 25.