‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville on Hollywood for Actresses Over 40: ‘It Is Getting Better’

‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville on Hollywood for Actresses Over 40: ‘It Is Getting Better’
Daniel Day-Lewis’ Reynolds Woodcock may be the focus of “Phantom Thread,” but the women rule in Paul Thomas Anderson’s lavish character study. Although the fussy dressmaker is used to getting his way, every element of his professional and personal life is dictated by the women who surround him. And there’s no one more fearsome than his beloved sister and business partner, Cyril (Lesley Manville).

In Manville’s hands, Cyril is iron-willed with a flinty charm that keeps both Reynolds and the audience on their toes. From a particular flick of her eyes to an unnerving scene where she baits Reynolds for a fight he will undoubtedly lose, Cyril never gives anyone — least of all her brother — an inch.

It’s a stunning and subtle performance, and one that subverts what Hollywood expects from and offers actresses over 40. “I’ve got a movie, a TV series, and a play,
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