Daniel Day-Lewis Net Worth

How much is Daniel Day-Lewis worth?

Net Worth:$40 Million
Profession:Professional Actor
Date of Birth:April 29, 1957 (age 65)
Country:United Kingdom
6 ft 1 in (1.87 m)

“A voice is such a deep, personal reflection of character.” Daniel Day-Lewis

About Daniel Day-Lewis

Sir Daniel Day-Lewis is a prestigious actor who has earned $8 million per movie, and, more importantly, influenced an entire generation of young actors with his Method acting style. While some actors have focused on big blockbuster productions, Day-Lewis has selected carefully the roles that he has wanted to appear in. Which makes sense considering his thespian commitment may have crossed a line, on more than a few occasions. Like the time he went deep into the forest to find his Mohican self.

To play the white adopted son of a Mohican tribe, in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Day-Lewis realized that to truly get into character he would need to learn how to survive in a forest. This took him on a journey that would test him more than just mentally and physically, but also spiritually, as he experienced hallucinations and more.

English actor Daniel Day-Lewis has an estimated net worth of $40 million dollars, as of 2023. While retired today, Day-Lewis was paid an estimated $6-8 million per film and is considered one of the greatest actors of all time.

His stories have become legendary. Like the time back in 1989, when Day-Lewis was performing the lead in Hamlet in London. He left in the middle of a performance because he tells us that he had seen his late father’s ghost onstage. Day-Lewis is such a Method actor, that in production for My Left Foot (1989), he refused to leave a wheelchair while playing a man with cerebral palsy.

Today, he is one of the most celebrated actors of our time, Day-Lewis is one of only three men to win three Oscars. The most recent win being for his performance as the titular character in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012). As mentioned, a lot of Day-Lewis’ success is owed to his way of Method acting, devoting incredible time and effort in to researching his roles and bringing the characters to life.

Some of Day-Lewis’ most popular movies include Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Age of Innocence.

“I’m not keen on history being tampered with… to any extent,” no doubt, because Daniel Day-Lewis relies on historical records being kept intact so that he can resurrect a character like Abraham Lincoln.

Daniel Day-Lewis did not have an easy start to his career, he has said on the subject “For about a year, I just didn’t know what to do. I did laboring jobs, working in the docks, on construction sites.” His first glimpse at a possible acting career, was when he managed to perform on stage in London theaters and eventually was accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

In those days he would often switch between theater and film and kept that trend up all through the 1980s. In the end however, while many thought that he would not have what it takes to make it in films. He put those rumors to rest when he famously stopped performing on stage altogether; that was after the harrowing performance of Hamlet in 1989. On that historic occasion, Day-Lewis marched off stage upon having a mini-breakdown in the middle of a scene when the ghost of his late father appeared to him in plain sight. Even before this event he had described Hamlet like “climbing a mountain”.

After this, Day-Lewis focused on his movie career, and after the incredibly successful My Left Foot (1989), in which Day-Lewis plays an Irish man with cerebral palsy, the actor won his first Academy Award for Best Actor.

With an Oscar under his belt so early in his career, Day-Lewis was afforded the opportunity to turn down roles, as he was getting so many offers thrown at him from every direction. He went on to star in the Michael Mann epic, The Last of the Mohicans (1992).

The movie is set during the French and Indian war in the 1750s and though it was criticized for its authenticity, it was praised for its cinematography and, of course, Day-Lewis’ performance.

The following year, the actor starred in The Age of Innocence (1993), Day-Lewis’ first collaboration with celebrated director Martin Scorsese, which was released to universal critical acclaim.

The historical romantic drama saw Day-Lewis act alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and though it wasn’t a box office smash, it’s highly regarded as one of Scorsese’s greatest works that isn’t a gangster movie.

The Age Of Innocence wasn’t the last time Scorsese and Day-Lewis worked together, they’d join forces once again nine years later for Gangs of New York (2002), though it famously took Day-Lewis some convincing to take the role.

After 1997’s The Boxer, Day-Lewis famously retired from acting to become a cobbler in Italy. So when Scorsese approached Day-Lewis for the role of Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting, he politely refused over the phone. The ever determined Scorsese allegedly flew to Italy to track down Day-Lewis and persuade him to take the role in person. After finally accepting, and putting himself through rigorous Method acting routines, Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Billy the Butcher is arguably his most iconic.

Day-Lewis also has a great working relationship with the director Paul Thomas Anderson, starring in two of the director’s movies. There Will Be Blood (2007), earned the actor his second Academy Award for Best Actor for playing the villainous, selfish and money hungry oil driller, Daniel Plainview. The second collaboration with Anderson was Phantom Thread (2017), which Day-Lewis has said is his final film, and up to this point, he hasn’t gone back on his word.

Day-Lewis’ Total Net Worth

Very few of Day-Lewis’ paychecks have been disclosed, but it has been reported that he regularly earned $8 million per movie in the 90s, which is what he earned for The Crucible (1996).

Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film, Phantom Thread, was released in 2017 and many consider it to have been his last. It is estimated that he was paid between $6 million and $8 million for his role as London fashion designer, Reynolds Woodcock. According to Forbes, the actor’s 20-film canon has earned a gross revenue of $981 million at the box office. That figure may be far less than other actors, like Bradley Cooper or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. However there is a quality and a finesse to Day-Lewis’ work and the movies that he appears in sets him apart. He has appeared in the top #6 of IMDB’s “50 Most Talented Actors” list for over a decade.

The highest grossing film of Daniel Day-Lewis’ career was Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012). The picture earned $275.3 million from a $65 million budget. For his portrayal of the U.S. president seeking the abolition of slavery, Day-Lewis also won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Though Day-Lewis is incredibly rich, many consider that he could have become far richer had he focused on earning money, rather than selecting roles that he himself wished to portray. He has only starred in six movies since 1998, often taking gaps of up to five years between each role, however, the idea that Day-Lewis has been doing anything besides moving cinematic performances forward is foolish. It is considered that Day-Lewis never once took on a role for the paycheck alone, only ever committing because he felt that he could bring something special to the part.

It is true, though, that director’s have begged Day-Lewis to join their cast. Like the time Martin Scorsese traveled across the world to plead with Day-Lewis to play Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting in Gangs of New York (2002). Yet Day-Lewis would never have agreed to the part, despite what has been estimated for this role as being a $10 million dollar paycheck. If he wasn’t willing to commit to becoming ‘The Butcher’ even walking around Hyde Park.

Gangs of New York earned $193.8 million, and, as mentioned, Lincoln earned $275.3 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing movie in his filmography. Above all, Day-Lewis is considered one of the premier minds in the field of acting. “In all fields of creativity you see the result of work that has become habit. Where the creative impulse has become flaccid or has died out altogether, and yet because it is our work and our life we continue to do it,” he has said nearing the end of his career.

It is understood that Day-Lewis never acted for the money but for the love and thespian spirit of the performances themselves. That said he has earned a substantial net worth estimated to be $40 million. It is also considered that he may have invested wisely which could mean that his means are actually greater than that amount.

Day-Lewis’ success is mostly attributed to the way that he approaches each performance, as he spends months, even up to a year, preparing for the role and researching the history and background of the era the movie is set in. For his role in The Phantom Thread (2017), in which he plays the dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, Day-Lewis watched archival footage of fashion shows from the 40s and 50s, and studied the famous designers from the era.

But that’s not all, he spent close to two years being the apprentice of Marc Happel, the head of the costume department at the New York City Ballet. “Everybody has to know for themselves what they’re capable of,” Day-Lewis has said. Perhaps it is because Day-Lewis knows himself so well that he had already realized that investing the kind of time and attention that he puts into a project will pay off for him. That has been seen both financially and, more importantly for him, with the complete mastery of the roles that he has performed in.

He went even further with the role of Bill the Butcher, it was his idea to cover his own eyeball in prosthetic glass to make it look like a fake eye. He even learned to tap his fake eye with a knife without blinking which is shown in one of the most remarkable scenes in cinematic history. At one point, Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio persuaded him to go to lunch with them, but Day-Lewis stayed in character as The Butcher the whole time. DiCaprio is known not to Method act.

As well as truly stepping into and becoming the character he’s playing, Day-Lewis is massively selective when it comes to which roles he accepts. He is also very private and highly protective of his privacy, barely ever giving interviews or taking part in press junkets to promote the movie, which helps audiences to believe they aren’t watching an actor when he’s on screen but a real life maniac. It also allows him to save energy because for a person like Day-Lewis, it seems that he wishes to put all of his efforts into his craft.

He would rather spend time with other actors, studying them and watching their performances. He has said, “For as long as I can remember, the thing that gave me a sense of wonderment and renewal… has always been the work of other actors.”


Thanks to his wild approach to acting that so few other actors come close to, Daniel Day-Lewis has become a legend in the industry, and though he has so few movies, each and every one of them is memorable and iconic.

With being one of the most in-demand actors of our generation, Day-Lewis has been able to accrue an estimated net worth of $40 million. Though we may never see another performance from Day-Lewis again due to his retirement, he has come out of retirement before, and he may get an itch to become the first ever actor to have four Academy awards on his mantel.

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