Daniel Day-Lewis, widely considered the greatest actor of his generation and the winner of three Academy Awards for Best Actor, does not like to have his picture taken—he doesn’t like to be in front of a camera when he is not playing a character. But he made an exception for W magazine, whose editor-at-large Lynn Hirschberg interviewed him exclusively about giving up acting and what comes after his last role as couturier Reynolds Woodcock in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Phantom Thread. “I won’t know which way to go for a while. But I’m not going to stay idle. I don’t fear the stony silence,” he says. For our Holiday 2017 issue, Day-Lewis wore only the things he had brought with him. His wardrobe also matched his mood: “I want to wear soft, comforting, plain things,” he told me. In the photo shoot, photographer Tim Walker also captured Day-Lewis’s many tattoos, handprints that climb his back to his shoulders, commemorating each of his three sons, and a dozen more that tell secret stories. When Walker asked if he could shoot his naked tattoo-covered torso, Day-Lewis replied, “Yes—but you would have to promise to never show the picture to anyone.” Walker declined that offer, but their time together resulted in the remarkable portraits seen here.