New Set Photo of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg's Lincoln
12.15.11 by Ryan
Earlier this month, Daniel Day-Lewis was photographed enjoying lunch in a Richmond, Virginia, restaurant looking very much like Abraham Lincoln and sporting very Lincoln-esque facial hair. But for those thinking they had the first look spoiler of Day-Lewis as Lincoln from director Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln, think again. "That's not actually his Lincoln beard," producer Kathleen Kennedy recently told The Playlist. "That's just what he looks like right now. He wasn't in hair, makeup, wardrobe, or anything when that picture was taken. He had just gone out that evening, he was just having dinner, and someone snapped a photo of him. But doesn't he look like Lincoln in blue jeans? I had friends who called me going, 'Oh my God, oh my God, it looks like Lincoln!' It's pretty remarkable when you look at that photo, and you say, 'Oh my God, he really embodies Lincoln,' because he does."
A more thorough depiction of Day-Lewis as Lincoln was revealed in a set photo released by The Richmond-Times Dispatch which shows Day-Lewis in full costume as Lincoln while walking with Spielberg between takes. What was captured in the image may capture a rare look at Day-Lewis' "immersive" acting approach. "He's very immersive in his technique, in what he does," Kennedy said of Day-Lewis. "He speaks primarily to Steven, but he's a very serious actor and he takes very seriously the job of acting and what he does. We've all had a great interaction with him. He's been fantastic."
Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals, Lincoln will focus "on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln's life" and, unlike Spielberg's other war movies, won't see many battles. "There are no war scenes," said Spielberg. "We're not doing the Civil War."
The action will be kept instead inside the White House and Congress, with Lincoln's attempt to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery. "We're primarily basing the story out of Washington," Kennedy said. "We often think, 'Are people going to want to see this movie?' And I really hope they do, because it's so rich and timely and important to tell this story now."
Adapted by Tony Kushner (Munich), Lincoln boasts a huge ensemble cast, including Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) as Ulysses S. Grant, David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) as Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward, Tommy Lee Jones as Pennsylvania congressman Thaddeus Stevens, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Todd, Lincoln's oldest son, and Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children, Watchmen) as Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederate States. Hal Holbrook (Water for Elephants), James Spader (Stargate), John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk), Bruce McGill (Law Abiding Citizen), and Joseph Cross (Milk) co-star. Lincoln is set to open in late next year.