Texting like a president - Day-Lewis gets under Lincoln's skin

Mon Nov 5, 2012 1:26pm EST
 
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Daniel Day-Lewis had little more than a statue and a few famous speeches to go on when he first agreed to play President Abraham Lincoln on screen.

By the time production began on Steven Spielberg's movie "Lincoln", the British-Irish actor was so immersed in the character he was even texting co-stars as America's Civil War president.

"I knew nothing about him," Day-Lewis, 55, told reporters ahead of the November 9 release of "Lincoln".

"I had everything to learn and apart from a few images, a statue ... a few lines from the first inaugural, a few from the Gettysburg address, that would be my entire knowledge of that man's life," he added.

The double Oscar winner admitted he was hesitant in taking on the role of Lincoln, saying he did not want to "be responsible for irrevocably staining the reputation of the greatest president this country's ever known."

Despite his doubts, Day-Lewis is already being hailed as a certain Oscar nominee for his work on the movie, which could add to his best actor Oscar haul for his greedy turn of the century oil baron in "There Will be Blood" (2007) and his role as a quadriplegic writer in the 1989 film "My Left Foot".

Entertainment website Cinema Blend called his performance "faultless and surprisingly restrained," while Indiewire writes that "the motivating force of 'Lincoln' belongs to its leading man, whose screen presence is a wonder to behold even when he says nothing".

British born Day-Lewis is known for exhaustive preparation and for throwing himself completely in his roles, even when the cameras are not rolling.   Continued...

 
Actor Daniel Day-Lewis portrays United States president Abraham Lincoln in a scene from director Steven Spielberg's new film "Lincoln" in this undated publicity photograph. Day-Lewis had only a statue and a few famous speeches to go on when he first agreed to play President Abraham Lincoln on screen. Yet by the time production began on Spielberg's "Lincoln," the British-Irish actor was so immersed in the character, he was even texting co-stars as America's Civil War president. REUTERS/David James/DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox/Handout