Daniel Day-Lewis IS Abraham Lincoln
First look at the actor's transformation into our 16th President for Steven Spielberg's upcoming film
Is it sacrilege to have a British actor playing one of our most beloved Presidents? I say absolutely not! Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most talented actors around, and it’s hardly the first iconic American he’s portrayed. Besides, I don’t hear anyone complaining about British actress Vivien Leigh having played the most famous Southern belle in movie history. (Well, not anymore, anyway—some people were aghast when Leigh’s casting was first announced in 1939, but they held their tongues once they saw her Oscar-winning performance as Scarlett O’Hara!)
At 55, Day-Lewis is just one year younger than Abraham Lincoln was when the film takes place—during the last four months of the President’s life. And at 6’1”, the lanky actor is just the right size to convey Lincoln’s imposing physical presence (our sixteenth President was actually 6’4”, which must have made him seem like a giant in the 1860s!).
Spielberg’s film is based on the book “Team of Rivals,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. The bestselling book was adapted for the screen by another Pultizer Prize winner, Tony Kushner. The film also stars Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as their eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln. The DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox/Participant Media production will open on November 9, 2012, just two days after we choose our next President.
Daniel Day-Lewis, who is extremely choosy about what film roles he’ll take on, is such a gifted actor his performances tend to seem like some kind of channeling. What do you think of this first look of him as Abraham Lincoln?