Giuseppe Ricci has been making shoes for for over fifty years in the Italian city of Palermo, but last week after watching Phantom Thread he decided to retire from his trade to pursue being acclaimed film star Daniel Day-Lewis full-time.
“I love to cobble, but it is exhausting. Sometimes I spend two…three years just preparing a single pair of shoes!” Giuseppe says, smiling. “I’m old. I need a break. And again, please, call me Daniel.”
There are many in Palermo who hope this break from cobbling is only temporary, but in general, the town is supportive of Giuseppe’s retirement.
“This is not the first time he has taken a break — in the late 90s he stopped cobbling for five years to live as a shoehorn,” explained one of his customers. “Nobody fixes arches like Giuseppe…but if wants to be Daniel Day-Lewis, well…he’s earned it. He should follow his dreams, and truly, I hope Giuseppe…sorry, I hope Daniel wins the Oscar.”
“I will miss the smell of his old shop. He took care with your shoes…he could fix anything! But, maybe having a celebrity in town will be good for the local businesses?”
Giuseppe, who has started speaking Italian in a light Irish accent, seems at peace with his decision.
“After every pair of shoes…I would get so, deeply, sad. You know? Deep blue periods that would last for months. I couldn’t bare to tie my shoes and I would trip on the laces…it was very hard, you know? Now that I am Daniel, things have already been much better. I hope one day to play a cobbler in a film. I see now that, perhaps, my whole life has just been preparation for the role of a lifetime.”
Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t put too much stake in the recent news story that Daniel Day-Lewis is retiring from acting.
“I’ll be back. Trust me. I am, how do you say, just getting started.”
The other Daniel Day-Lewis could not be reached for comment.
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BREAKING: This Italian Cobbler Is Retiring to Become Daniel Day-Lewis was originally published in Slackjaw on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.