Wife of Daniel Day-Lewis talks about her career, marriage, and new novel
Rebecca Miller's third book 'Jacob's Folly' to hit shelves June 6
Rebecca Miller's third novel, Jacob's Folly, is expected to hit shelves in Ireland on June 6. The acclaimed writer - and wife of triple-Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis - recently talked to the Irish Independent about her career, her marriage and her famous name.
Miller, who is the daughter of American playwright Arthur Miller, revealed she once considered changing her name.
"I considered changing my name to my mother's name briefly very early," said Miller, whose mother was renowned photographer Inge Morath. "But then I thought my name is so common. Miller is not a very distinctive name.
"In the end, people are still going to know if they're going to know. I sort of ended up deciding it was like being part of a family circus, and I didn't mind any more."
Miller's newest novel is a fantastical tale of an 18th-Century French-Jewish peddler who is reincarnated as a fly in modern-day New York. The novel has already received praise.
"It takes a certain amount of forgetting about what anybody might expect of you," said Miller.
"In my case, I think I retreat into my family so that I almost cleanse myself of any of the literary part of me, and then [emerge] just ready to go.
"I try to almost hypnotise myself into thinking that I'm free each time I write a book.
"I think if you convince yourself you're free, then you are, because it's a mental state, really. I didn't think particularly about being original, or anything else. I just thought: 'How can I tell this story?'"
Miller also talked about her struggle to find her own creative niche.
"I started by being a painter, partly because it was either going to be painting or writing, and I had an instinct that it would be healthier for me to go that way in the beginning.
"Then I started to do screenplays, which seemed like 'non-writing'. It was like writing without writing.
"I had been screen- writing all these years, but couldn't get money for my film.
"Finally, when I had a baby, I thought: 'Why am I writing all these things that nobody wants, and spending all my time doing it – why not try to write fiction?'
"That's when I wrote Personal Velocity, which, funnily enough, brought me back to film-making when it was adapted into a film [in 2002]."
Of her marriage to Day-Kewis, she joked," "Luckily we have circles of privacy outside of which we manage to act like normal human beings, more or less."
"I wrote a lot of the book in Ireland actually, because we were living in Ireland until two years ago.
"When you're writing, you tend to go into lockdown.
"The whole book took five years to write, so I was in that state for a really long time.
"I would drop the kids off at school, come home and just write for three or four hours until I had to get up to do something else. Or I would have to take six months off and just read [for research].
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